[Paleopsych] CHE Colloquy: The Future of Europe

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Tue Jul 12 18:58:29 UTC 2005

The Future of Europe
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Colloquy Transcript
5.7.17, at 1 p.m., U.S. Eastern time
[Target article appended.]

    The topic

    For more than 50 years, the nations of Europe have been creeping
    toward economic and political unity. Last year, the European Union
    unveiled a draft constitution that was designed to streamline and
    harmonize the operations of the various bureaucracies in Brussels. But
    this spring, voters in France and the Netherlands decisively rejected
    the constitution in popular referenda. Two weeks later, a summit of
    European leaders collapsed in acrimony.

    Now a political theorist at Harvard University is weighing in with an
    argument for a truly unitary European state. Glyn Morgan believes that
    if Europe is truly serious about balancing American military and
    diplomatic power, it should become a single sovereign state with a
    single military and foreign policy. More generally, he argues that
    most of the EU's supporters -- and most of its "Euroskeptic" opponents
    -- must answer fundamental questions about sovereignty, the purpose of
    the EU, and the costs and benefits of integration.
    Is his argument persuasive? Would a single military and foreign policy
    be beneficial, or even possible? What are the prospects for the more
    immediate goal of European economic integration?

    The guest

    Glyn Morgan is an associate professor of government and social studies
    at Harvard University. He earned a Ph.D. in political science at the
    University of California at Berkeley in 1998. His forthcoming book is
    The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European
    Integration (Princeton University Press, September). He is now at work
    on books about terrorism and anti-Americanism.

                      A transcript of the chat follows.

    David Glenn (Moderator):
        Welcome to the Chronicle's colloquy on European political
    integration. Many thanks to Glyn Morgan for taking time to be here.

    Glyn Morgan:
        It's very nice to be here. Thank you for hosting me. I know that
    this is a day, when for many people their thoughts are elsewhere. I
    have lots of family and friends in London and I hope they are all OK.

    Question from David Glenn:
        The miserable news from London this morning is yet another
    reminder of the power of (apparently) stateless terrorist cells. Some
    international-relations theorists have suggested that threats like
    these can't be analyzed or addressed within a state-centered, realist,
    balance-of-power framework.

    How do you reply to that line of argument? In terms of confronting the
    perpetrators of the Madrid and London attacks, does it really make any
    difference how Europe is configured?
    Glyn Morgan:
        The first few paragraphs of the conclusion to the book came back
    to me this morning when I turned on the news. I'll repeat them here:

    Imagine that on September 11 next year, terrorists based somewhere in
    the Magreb fly hijacked passenger jets into the Westminster
    parliament, the Reichstag, the Vatican, and the Louvre. These attacks
    kill thousands. Let it further be imagined that the United States is
    either preoccupied with China or, in the wake of the recent disasters
    in Iraq, has lost all appetite for foreign military intervention.
    After years of complaining about US unilateralism, Europeans now
    fulminate against US isolationism.

    It is worth bearing this scenario in mind, because given existing
    military capabilities, Europes nation-states, acting either singly or
    jointly, would be unable to conduct anything resembling the operation
    that the United States conducted to destroy Al Qaeda camps in
    Afghanistan in October and November of 2001. If terrorists based in
    camps in the Magrebperhaps protected by a friendly host
    government--promised to repeat their attacks, there would be little
    that European powers could -- other than fulminate against US
    isolationism -- do about it.

    It is partly in recognition of Europes current military weakness and
    its one-sided dependence on the United States that a number of
    European political leaders have said that Europe needs to become a
    superpower. Most of these political leaders want to see Europe become
    a superpower without becoming a superstate. Some intellectual
    proponents of a post-sovereign Europe believe that Europe could become
    a superpower -- albeit a superpower of a new and different type --
    while operating under a radically-decentered form of mixed government.

    The arguments of the last few chapters have tried to show that when
    situated in a context of violence, conflict, and wide disparities of
    power between states, many of the prevailing assumptions about
    European political integration look rather naïve.

    I pretty much stand by that argument.

    Question from Pete Mackey, at an educational foundation:
        My wife and I lived in Ireland for two years, 2000-02. Like people
    throughout Europe now, especially young people, we traveled widely,
    thanks to the low airfares and easy border crossings that typify
    today's EU. Does not the resulting level of interaction,
    inter-marriage, and cultural and economic exchange this massive flow
    of people across the EU countries is generating create a level of
    integration that makes some of the more forcible bureaucratic
    proposals moot, or at least less about integration and more about
    consolidating political power in Brussels?
    Glyn Morgan:
         This is an interesting point. Clearly, Europeans today travel
    much more within Europe. Perhaps we are on the verge of seeing
    something like a European-wide common culture. I would not, however,
    want to draw too sharp a distinction between the "voluntary" social
    exchanges you describe and "forcible" political or bureaucratic
    integration, simply because many of the social exchanges you describe
    were made possible by regulatory measures adopted in Brussels.

    Question from James S. Taylor, Univ. of Aveiro, Portugal:
        Did the EU err by first moving forward economically with the Euro,
    instead of advancing politically with the Constitution?
    Glyn Morgan:
         Yes. The Euro was established as much for political as for
    economic reasons. I think Europe ought to have proceeded much further
    politically and socially, before setting up a common curency and
    monetary policy. I'm generally in favor of European political
    integration. Yet, if I were to vote today in a British referendum on
    adopting the Euro, I would vote "No." I still think the long-term
    success of the Euro remains in doubt. Recent rumblings in Italy are, I
    suspect, the first of many.

    Question from David Glenn:
        Could you briefly sketch your model of a "democratic model of
    justification," and explain why such forms of justification are
    important to the project of European political integration?
    Glyn Morgan:
        Im glad you asked that, because the Chronicle article gives a
    slightly misleading idea of the focus of the book. I do have my own
    highly opinionated views on how the European Union should be
    organized. I think -- although admittedly hardly anyone else does --
    that Europe should form a unitary sovereign state. But thats really
    only part of what the book is about. Im a political theorist. And this
    is a work of political theory -- applied political theory, as I like
    to think of it. I think political theorists, if they are not to become
    irrelevant, need to work with important real world issues. Peoples
    positions on European integration are constructed from facts, values,
    and arguments. The task of applied political theory is to probe those
    facts, values, and arguments.

    The central claim of the book is that the EU is less in need of an
    institutional fix than a justificatory fix. The project of European
    integration needs, if it is go any further, a debate about this
    projects point or purpose. Europe has gone as far as it can as an
    elite-led project. Europeans need to pose the question: whats the
    justification for European political integration? Political theorists
    can help them answer this question.

    Unfortunately, political theorists have tended to ignore the issue of
    justification in favor of a debate about Europes (alleged) democratic
    deficit. The assumption here is that many of Europes popularity
    problems can be attributed to the fact that Europes institutions are
    insufficiently democratic. That argument always struck me as silly for
    at least two reasons. One, Europes institutions are not much less
    democratic than those of Europes member states. And two, Eurosceptics
    tend to object not to the democratic failures of Europes institutions
    but to their very existence. I think political theorists ought to
    focus on the justificatory challenge posed by Eurosceptics. The book
    makes a stab at this justificatory challenge. It does so in three

    Stage one defends what I call a democratic theory of justification.
    This part of my argument is indebted to the later work of John Rawls.
    I argue that any fundamental constitutional transformation needs to
    meet a stringent justificatory hurdle. Not just any argument will do.
    I argue that a democratic theory of justification must satisfy three
    requirements: (a) a requirement of publicity; (b) a requirement of
    accessibility, and (c) a requirement of sufficiency. In working out
    this part of my argument, Im indebted not just to John Rawls but also
    to Gerry Gaus, Steve Macedo, Tim Scanlon, Chris Bertram and others who
    have thought through the idea of public justification.

    Stage two examines some of the most common arguments for European
    political integration in the light of this democratic theory of
    justification. I focus on two particular types of argument that have
    been put forward by proponents of European political integration --
    welfare-based arguments and security-based arguments. In my discussion
    of welfare-based arguments, I focus primarily on the contrasting sets
    of arguments put forward by Jv*rgen Habermas and Friedrich Hayek.
    Habermas represents the social democratic perspective; Hayek
    represents the classical liberal perspective. Broadly stated, their
    arguments capture, if at a more sophisticated theoretical level, much
    of whats at stake in the current debate -- thrown up by the French
    referendum -- over "social Europe and liberal Europe.

    Stage three defends a particular type of security-based justification
    for European political integration. Security, as I understand it, is a
    complex value that includes at its core a conception of
    non-dependence. Here my argument is indebted to various contemporary
    neo-republican political theorists such as Richard Bellamy and Philip

    Question from David Glenn:
        Could you flesh out your claim that the EU's institutions are not
    much less democratic than the member nations' own governments?

    Many scholars of the EU insist that Brussels suffers from a serious
    democratic deficit. Alex Warleigh's recent book, for example, argues
    that the democratic deficit is serious, and that it "arose from the
    mistaken institutional design and developmental trajectory
    respectively given to and hoped for the Union by its key founders, who
    created technocratic structures that were supposed to create a federal
    state by stealth (and thus in the absence of public engagement, or
    even knowledge)."
    Glyn Morgan:
        The "democratic deficit" debate has, in my opinion, attracted far
    more attention than it deserves. True, there are undemocratic features
    of the EU. The same holds true for most "democratic" states--there's
    nothing terribly democratic about the U.S. Supreme Court or the
    Electoral College, for instance.

    The more important point to recognize, I think, is that were the EU to
    become much more democratic -- say, by empowering the European
    Parliament -- the EU would immediately become even less legitimate in
    the eyes of European voters than is now the case.

    The EU suffers from a justification deficit rather than a democracy
    deficit. Many ordinary citizens have no clear view of why it ought to
    exist and why it ought to be granted more powers.

    Question from Theodore Kariotis, University of Maryland:
        When you are a family of 15 and you have major problems in the
    family, you never add 10 more members in such a dysfunctional family.
    Do you think that this large expansion was a fatal blow to EU?
    Glyn Morgan:
        If you are a family of 15, do you wish to have 10 neighbors who
    are destitute and killing themselves? Almost certainly not. In other
    words, I think European Enlargement was a necessary and desirable
    step. I do, however, worry that the social and economic changes --
    both in the former EU15 and in the new member states -- that
    Enlargement will bring about are changes that many Europeans are
    neither prepared for nor aware of. To reiterate an earlier point: I
    think that Europeans are in desperate need of political education.
    They need to understand why Europe added these new 10 members.

    Question from David Glenn:
        What do you think of the argument recently put forward by T.R.
    Reid, Jeremy Rifkin, and other analysts, to the effect that Europe
    already represents a powerful and attractive alternative to the U.S.
    model of political economy and international relations?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I find this line of argument unpersuasive. Reid and Rifkin --
    whose books, I hasten to add, I found very provocative and enormously
    enjoyable -- both believe (to put it crudely) that Europe circa 2004
    has reached the promised land. R. and R. seem to think, from what I
    recall, that Europe (i) has established a more humane model of society
    than the United States; (ii) is better prepared to meet the challenges
    of the new century; and (iii) has wisely abandoned military power in
    favor of alternative more useful forms of power. (Some of these
    arguments have been advanced more recently by Mark Leonard in his very
    interesting and quite splendid book Why Europe Will Run the 21st

    I wouldnt endorse any of these claims. Europe, at the moment, does not
    possess a single model of society; and to the extent that it does,
    that model of society is neither more nor less humane than that of the
    United States. More specifically, there are aspects of Europe that are
    more humane -- it does not, for instance, rely upon mass incarceration
    as a solution to its social problems. And there are aspects of the
    United States that are more humaneit is generally more open and
    accommodating to immigrants than Europe, for instance. Efforts to
    construct a European identity on the basis of differences with the
    United States -- a proto-European nationalism, as it were - have all
    the drawbacks of every type of identity politics. It was disappointing
    to see Jacques Derrida and Jv*rgen Habermas (in their joint letter) go
    in for this sort of drivel.

    Europe currently contains a variety of different models of welfare
    capitalism -- Liberal, Scandinavian, Continental, call them what you
    will. Europeans disagree among themselves about the merits of these
    different models. That disagreement cropped up (for largely
    unwarranted reasons) in the French referendum and led some people to
    vote against the Constitutional Treaty. Europeans have yet to work out
    which of these models they want to embrace and how much intra-European
    variety they will permit. In my view, for what its worth, this
    disagreement is best played out at the parliamentary level -- both
    national and European -- and not cemented into place in a
    Constitutional Treaty.

    The claim that Europe is uniquely qualified to run the next century is
    also unpersuasive. Europe, if it continues on its present path, will
    be uniquely well-qualified for nothing but global irrelevance:
    economically moribund; demographically geriatric; and internationally
    impotent. One of the gravest threats to the future of Europe comes
    from the misguided notion that it can prosper as a non-military
    civilian power. To rely, as Reid, Rifkin and others suggest, on
    soft-power, would turn Europe into a superannuated version of

    David Glenn (Moderator):
        We're just about halfway through our hour. Please keep those
    questions coming. . .

    Question from Wes Teter:
        Sitting in Brussels at the moment and having worked in the
    European Commission, I find it sad that no one speaks about the fact
    that previous agreements and successes among the member states are not
    undone simply because a constitution is not ratified. Further, Europe
    is unified politically, but chooses not to go as far as the single
    superstate. I agree that the project has not yet reached the public
    fully. How can the idea of Europe better reach its citizens do you
    think? How can the idea of Europe better reach the U.S.?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I'm less sanguine than you about the claim that "Europe is unified
    politically." I fear that the threads holding it together have now
    become rather frayed. As for the claim "the project has not yet
    reached the public fully" -- I'm not so sure that "reaching" is the
    problem. One of the great mistakes of the EU Commission is to believe
    that "to know us is to love us." It may well be that the more the
    public knows about the EU, the less the public likes it. The answer is
    to raise and debate fundamental justificatory questions, not simply to
    conduct more outreach efforts.

    Question from David Glenn:
        In Prospect magazine, Andrew Moravcsik [55]recently argued that
    this recent constitution-drafting process has been a mistake. Europe
    already has a perfectly workable constitutional order, he said, and
    its policies and structure are generally popular.

    He wrote: "So it was not the substance of the emerging constitutional
    settlement that triggered opposition. The objectionable aspect was its
    form: an idealistic constitution. Since the 1970s, lawyers have
    regarded the treaty of Rome as a de facto constitution. The new
    document was an unnecessary public relations exercise based on the
    seemingly intuitive, but in fact peculiar, notion that democratisation
    and the European ideal could legitimate the EU."

    What do you think of that line of argument?
    Glyn Morgan:
        Complete rubbish. Europe was hardly in a very healthy state prior
    to the decision to embark upon the Convention and the Constitutional
    Treaty. It had recently experienced a number of embarrassing
    referendum defeats; Europe's economy was (and still is) moribund;
    transatlantic relations were at a postwar low; Europe's existing
    institutional architecture was ill-suited to handling 10 new members;
    and Europe's budget was--and still is--a disgrace. The recent national
    referendums also make it abundantly clear that when given the chance
    many Europeans attacked the very substance of the EU itself. If this
    is a model of stability and legitimacy, I would like to know what my
    good friend would consider a constitutional crisis.

    Question from David Glenn:
        Why do you believe that Euroskeptics, too, need to use a
    democratic standard of justification when defending their proposals?
    Can't they plausibly argue that pro-integration advocates should carry
    a higher burden of proof? ("We're just defending the status quo. It's
    the fools in Brussels who are trying to change things.")
    Glyn Morgan:
        I spend a lot of time in the book discussing the arguments of
    Eurosceptics -- British Eurosceptics, in particular. I found, to my
    surprise, that far and away the most cogent statement of the
    Eurosceptic position is to be found in the writings and speeches of
    Enoch Powell -- a highly controversial figure in the postwar history
    of British parliamentary politics. Contemporary Eurosceptics tend to
    rehash at a less sophisticated level arguments that Powell had made in
    the 1970s.

    I think Eurosceptics need to use a democratic standard of
    justification, because their proposals amount to a fundamental
    transformation of the existing institutional status quo. Not happy
    with the current intergovernmental EU -- still less happy with the
    very minor changes envisaged in the Constitutional Treaty -- many
    British Eurosceptics seek either the withdrawal of Britain from the
    Union or the transformation of the Union into a free trade zone. These
    are far-reaching changes. They need to satisfy the same democratic
    standard of justification that applies to arguments for a single
    unitary sovereign Europe or to a multi-level post-sovereign Europe.

    Question from Daniele Archibugi, CNR, Rome, Italy:
        If the demoi of two founding countries of the EU have voted
    against the Constitution, isn't it the proof that the functionalist
    approach of Jean Monnet is a more viable strategy than the Federalist
    project of Altiero Spinelli?
    Glyn Morgan:
        Much depends here on what you mean by "a viable strategy." I think
    the Monnet approach, which worked quite well in Europe's formative
    stages, is now completely finished. Any further steps along the road
    of European integration will now have to engage more directly with
    ordinary citizens. That's why I think the question of justification is
    so central. I think Europe, if it is to go any further, needs to adopy
    something akin to the Irish National Forums, which were set up after
    the Irish rejected the Treaty of Nice.

    Question from David Glenn:
        How do you reply to Richard Sweeney's argument that Europe does
    not face any serious vulnerabilities, and therefore has no need of a
    unitary military and security policy?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I find this argument unpersuasive for at least three reasons. One,
    it rests upon a conception of security that is unappealing; two, it
    fails to comprehend the threats that Europe now confronts; and three,
    it is naïve about the military capabilities of highly decentralized,
    multi-centered polities.

    Let me say something briefly about just the first of those three
    points. It is important to recognize that people disagree about the
    nature of security as a value. Some people certainly do think of
    security in terms of the absence of immediate current military
    threats. If thats your conception of security, then Professor Sweeneys
    probably right to say that Europe does not face any serious
    vulnerabilities. But thats not my conception of security. And I would
    hope that thats not the conception of security adopted by Europes
    political leaders. My argument works with a more expansive conception
    of security, which includes adequate safeguards against serious harms,
    even if they are currently of quite a low probability. The book spends
    quite a lot of time defining and defending adequate safeguards,
    serious harms, and so forth.

    Question from Rich Byrne, Chronicle of Higher Education:
        If Europe decided to pursue a more federal state, what immediate
    or near-term steps should the Union propose to ease the way? A
    mandatory euro? Creation of a standing multi-national army?
    Glyn Morgan:
        Let me be clear in saying that I do not think that Europe is
    likely any time soon to become a more federal state. The twin
    referendum defeats in France and the Netherlands bring to as close, in
    my view, a familiar process of integration. This process often
    involved -- as in the case of the Euro -- adopting a measure for one
    ostensible reason (economic) while expecting that it would have an
    additional (political) consequence.

    The near-term steps I would be in favor of adopting all involve
    engaging the citizenry in a debate about the desirability of European
    political integration.

    Question from David Glenn:
        Ivo Daalder of the Brookings Institution has argued that the
    current EU crisis will almost certainly lead to a slowdown in the EU's
    expansion plans -- and that that, in turn, will almost certainly slow
    down the process of political reform in the countries on the EU's

    He wrote: "Enlargement has proven to be the most successful strategy
    of regime change ever devised. While NATO enlargement proved
    important, for it provided security to countries living in the Soviet
    and Russian shadow, EU enlargement was absolutely crucial because it
    provided the basis for solidifying political freedom and enhancing
    economic prosperity in countries that had known little of either."

    What do you think of that line of argument?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I think that this is absolutely right. I've long been an advocate
    of European Enlargement -- including the admission of Turkey and the
    Ukraine. Ivo Daalder is absolutely right to worry about the
    consequences of the referendum defeats on political reform in places
    like Romania and Bulgaria. Hopefully, Europeans will come to their
    senses and re-commit themselves to European Enlargement. Having said
    that, I think it is important to recognize that European Enlargement
    is likely to generate far-reaching social and economic changes
    throughout Europe. We are likely to see a lot more mobility of people,
    industry, and financial capital than many people will like.

    Question from Russell Muirhead, Harvard University:
        You put much stress on security and self-defense. But are the
    humanitarian ideals so many Europeans endorse served by the sort of
    superstate and common military policy you advocate?
    Glyn Morgan:
        Yes. You are right to say that I have a security-based
    justification for European political integration. But I don't think
    that Europe needs to become more centralized and military potent
    merely for reasons of self-defense. Europe in its present form is
    incapable of projecting significant power abroad. That means that it
    is utterly incapable of autonomously intervening in any major
    humanitarian catastrophes. Europe has to depend on the United States.
    It makes little sense for a continent-load of people, more or less the
    economic equals of Americans, to be this dependent.

    Question from David Glenn:
        What do you see as the weaknesses of political theorists'
    celebrations of a flexible and "postsovereign" political order in
    Europe? (In a 1999 book, for example, Joseph Weiler of NYU Law School
    argued that the EU has transcended traditional forms of sovereignty
    and federalism because its members accept EU discipline "as an
    autonomous voluntary act; endlessly renewed on each occasion of
    subordination, in the discrete areas governed by Europe, which is the
    aggregate expression of other wills, other political identities, other
    political communities.")
    Glyn Morgan:
        The book sets up the debate over the future of Europe as a debate
    between three groups: Eurosceptics (who favor a Europe of independent
    nation-states); Post-sovereignists (who favor either the current
    intergovernmental EU or a more disaggregated multi-level
    post-sovereign polity); and European Sovereignists (who favor a
    unitary European Sovereign state). I chose, for reasons spelled out in
    the book, to steer clear of the term Federalist, which means very
    different things to different people and in different countries.

    I came to spend quite a lot of time on the post-sovereignist position,
    if only because it is extremely fashionable amongst contemporary legal
    and political theorists. Post-sovereignists like to tell us that
    sovereignty -- both internal and external -- is now obsolete. The age
    of the sovereign state is now over and done with. The great difficulty
    with this line of argument is that no one seems to have informed the
    United States government of this fact. The US is a jealous guardian of
    its sovereignty. This is not an invention of the Bush administration.
    The Clinton administration was exactly the same. When the most
    powerful entity in the international system is a sovereign state, then
    it makes no sense to talk about the death of sovereignty. If
    post-sovereignists wish to attack sovereignty, they must conduct the
    argument in normative terms. Here their arguments become altogether
    much weaker. I think post-sovereignists remain vulnerable to a
    security-based challenge. If we care about security as non-dependence,
    then it is not a good idea to adopt a form of governance -- as
    post-sovereignists would have us do -- that is incapable of balancing
    the power of the dominant entity in the international system. The
    post-sovereignist vision of the EU would contribute to the
    disappearance of Europe as an historical actor.

    Question from David Glenn:
        Would you be willing to offer any predictions about the future of
    agricultural subsidies in Europe?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I think Tony Blair, even if he has recently lost a battle on this
    front, will win the war. It makes very little sense to spend such a
    large percentage of the budget on agriculture. Reason , I expect, will
    ultimately prevail over current Franco-German intransigence.

    Question from David Glenn:
        In the recent volume Democracy and Federalism in the European
    Union and the United States: Exploring Post-National Governance,
    Robert Dahl argues that a Europe-wide democracy is unlikely, no matter
    what sort of "federal" arrangements are used. Europe's population, he
    argues, is probably too large and too diverse to sustain pan-European
    democratic structures.

    What do you think of that line of argument?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I don't see any link between the geographical size or scale of a
    state and its capacity for democratic institutions. I do, however,
    think that a common language is necessary. That minimal form of shared
    culture is absolutely indispensable particularly in the advanced
    industrial democracy that Europe hopes to become. True, there are some
    multinational exceptions to this rule -- Belgium, Canada, and India,
    for instance. But Belgium and Canada are forever on the verge of
    falling apart; and India is not (yet) an advanced industrial society.
    If Europe is to become politically unified, it needs a common
    language. I fully expect most Europeans to speak English (plus one
    other language) within fifty years.

    Question from David Glenn:
        Could nationalism ever operate on a pan-European level?
    Glyn Morgan:
        I spend a lot of time in the book on nationalism, for the simple
    reason that nationalism forms the ideological core of the Eurosceptic
    hostility to Europe. One of the conclusions I have drawn about
    nationalism is that this is a noun that always needs a qualifying
    adjective -- e.g., ethnic nationalism, liberal nationalism, xenophobic
    nationalism etc. I do some work in the book reconstructing the
    historical genealogy of nationalism. Ive always found it perplexing
    that the great modern sociological theories of nationalism -- that of
    Ernest Gellner, in particular -- have had so very little contact with
    the history of political thought. Thus Gellner defines nationalism as
    a principle of political legitimacy -- indeed the modern principle of
    political legitimacy. But neither he nor his students have had much to
    say about how this principle of political legitimacy came to either
    displace or coexist with earlier principles of political legitimacy.
    Figuring out this puzzle about nationalism took me (via the work of
    Istvan Hont) back to the writings of Thomas Hobbes, Abbe Sieyes and
    some of the intellectual founders of the modern nation-state. Hobbes
    is a particularly important thinker for me, because he envisages a
    sovereign state, whose members lack any shared cultural or ethnic
    characteristics. Indeed for Hobbes, the demise of the sovereign state
    leaves nothing but individuals. Its interesting to ask why Hobbess
    conception of the state -- a state without a culturally or ethnically
    defined nation -- was an historical nonstarter. Why, in other words,
    did the modern state require forms of horizontal and vertical
    solidarityi.e. solidarity between citizens and their political
    institutions and solidarity between citizens themselves -- grounded in
    and sustained by common cultural and/or ethnic characteristics?

    Much though Id like to think that a modern state could survive in the
    absence of these solidarities grounded in at least some of these
    characteristics, Im prepared to concede that no modern state could
    flourish in their absence. Ideally, these characteristics ought to be
    as nonexclusive as possible -- a common language, for instance. A
    European State thus needs, if it is to flourish, a common language. In
    all probability that language will be English -- which is already the
    de facto lingua franca of Europe as it is. Is this thin nationalism --
    if it even counts as such -- feasible on a pan-European level? Sure.
    Why not? I dont think that national identities are fixed forever in
    place. Of course many ethnic and traditional nationalists would
    disagree. But their arguments -- to the extent that they have any --
    are not consistent with what Ive termed a democratic theory of

    One final point on this topic: I think it is especially important to
    avoid efforts to identify a much thicker pan-European nationalism
    grounded in a set of unifying values alleged to distinguish Europe
    from America. Thats the trouble, I think, with the line of argument
    taken by Derrida and Habermas in that letter I mentioned earlier.

    Glyn Morgan:
        Thanks everyone for the questions. They were all very challenging.
    Special thanks to David Glenn- a real gent and a scholar. I now need a

    David Glenn (Moderator):
        Thanks again for taking time to be here on a grim day.


   54. http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i44/44a01201.htm
   55. http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6939


Making the Case for a United States of Europe
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5.7.8

    Even as the continental union falters, a Harvard professor says its
    architects haven't been ambitious enough


    When voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the proposed
    constitution of the European Union this spring, the EU's architects
    initially put on a brave face. The referendum defeats were a painful
    setback, they said, but with another round of negotiations and some
    redrafting, a constitution could still be approved within a few years.
    And in any case, many of the draft constitution's less-controversial
    provisions could be enacted by the European Union Council -- the
    gathering of the member nations' ministers. The ship was battered but
    still seaworthy.

    Two weeks later, however, it sprang more leaks.

    At a summit in Brussels, the EU's leaders failed to agree on a new
    budget. Britain and France squabbled about agricultural policy. Poland
    and nine other eastern countries attempted to broker a face-saving
    deal -- even offering to sacrifice some of the subsidies they receive
    from the EU -- but they failed. The prime minister of Luxembourg told
    the news media that, no matter what the EU's bureaucrats might say to
    the contrary, "Europe is in deep crisis."

    So this might seem like an awkward time to release a book that makes
    the case for a United States of Europe. But that is precisely what
    Glyn Morgan, an associate professor of government and social studies
    at Harvard University, is about to do.

    In The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and
    European Integration (Princeton University Press, September), Mr.
    Morgan argues that the European Union's designers have not been
    ambitious enough -- that they should go whole hog and create a union
    that usurps most elements of its member countries' sovereignty.

    Mr. Morgan grounds his argument on questions of security and foreign
    policy, using a classical balance-of-power framework. A unipolar world
    system overwhelmingly dominated by the United States is bound to be
    unstable, he says. If Europe is truly serious about balancing U.S.
    power, he continues, it must evolve into a sovereign entity with a
    single military command and a single foreign policy. The complex,
    multilayered, "post-sovereign" model promoted by many of the EU's
    architects simply won't do.

    Mr. Morgan invites his reader to imagine that foreign-based terrorists
    someday launch large-scale attacks in Europe, and that the United
    States cannot offer much help, because its own military is bogged down
    in China or Iraq or elsewhere. Without a unitary state and a unified
    military, he writes, "there would be little that European leaders
    could -- other than fulminate about U.S. isolationism -- do about it."

    That model is unlikely to find many admirers on either side of the
    usual Europhile-versus-Euroskeptic divide. The project of unification
    is generally defended (or attacked) these days on grounds of trade and
    economics, not war and peace.

    "Europeans need to confront this brutal choice," the British-born Mr.
    Morgan says. "Are they going to remain weak and dependent and maintain
    their decentralized government units, or are they going to try to
    become players in the world? And if they're going to become players in
    the world, they need to centralize. I think presenting that brutal
    choice is profoundly annoying to both sides of the debate."

    The unpopularity of Mr. Morgan's scheme, however, is largely beside
    the point. The true purpose of his book is not to inspire a movement
    for a superstate, but to provide a model of how to argue about
    European integration. Both the EU's architects and the EU's foes, he
    says, have evaded certain fundamental questions, and they have failed
    to justify their projects in terms that the broad European public
    could conceivably accept.

    It is no wonder, he says, that the EU's popularity has been slipping.
    Mr. Morgan hopes that his book will provoke Europhiles and
    Euroskeptics -- even if they reject his own prescriptions -- to adopt
    clearer modes of argument. The two sides have generally failed to
    squarely answer each other's longstanding claims, he says -- and that
    failure has generated the present impasse. "People are starting to
    demand answers to fundamental questions," he says. "Why are we doing
    this? What are the costs and benefits? They're raising basic questions
    about nationality and sovereignty, and not looking at the EU as a
    narrow set of economic arrangements."

    It's Not Just the Economy, Stupid

    Indeed, economic arrangements are the questions that Mr. Morgan wants
    to see less of in Europe's constitutional debates. The no votes in
    France and the Netherlands were driven, at least in part, by popular
    fears that the draft constitution would promote American-style
    laissez-faire economics and erode the French and Dutch social safety
    nets. Many of Britain's Euroskeptics, meanwhile, dislike the
    constitution for the opposite reason: They believe that it would drag
    Britain into a sclerotic social democratic economy.

    Both of those camps, Mr. Morgan says, can point to various provisions
    in the 349-page draft document that seem to bear out their fears. The
    constitution is full of enormously detailed language about commercial
    policy. (Article III, Section 221, proclaims that the EU will pursue
    its economic objectives "by the action it takes through the Structural
    Funds (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance
    Section; European Social Fund; European Regional Development Fund),
    the European Investment Bank, and the other existing financial

    Mr. Morgan argues that there is no good reason why these economic
    questions should be so deeply embedded in the constitution. "The issue
    of social democracy versus economic free markets should be played out
    at the democratic level of the European Parliament," he says. "It
    shouldn't be locked in place at the level of the constitution."

    "The problem with Europe at the moment," he further argues, "is that
    they've centralized the wrong things, and they've not centralized the
    things that they ought to have centralized."

    Mr. Morgan would prefer to see a much simpler, more streamlined
    constitution that deals primarily with the question of how a
    confederation with 25 members (and more in the pipeline) can formulate
    a coherent foreign and military policy.

    Other scholars of the European Union, however, insist that it would
    not be so simple to remove economic language from the constitution.
    Alex Warleigh, a professor of international politics and public policy
    at the University of Limerick, in Ireland, says that certain economic
    questions should be settled clearly now, at the constitutional level,
    precisely because the public already distrusts the EU bureaucracy.

    To do otherwise, he says, "would be to repeat the tendency that the EU
    has always had, which is to obfuscate the real issues of power that
    are brought into play by European integration. And that would be a
    mistake because it lends credibility to those who say that Brussels is
    simply a power grabber."

    Mr. Warleigh, who is the author of Democracy in the European Union:
    Theory, Practice, and Reform (Sage, 2003), agrees with Mr. Morgan that
    the EU's architects should speak much more plainly about the
    fundamental purposes of European integration. "To present it all as a
    dry technical operation -- I just don't think that would be believed
    anymore," he says. "You could get away with that back in the 50s."
    Nonetheless, Mr. Warleigh says, the detailed commercial language in
    the constitution is probably inescapable.

    The Will to Power

    Mr. Morgan's primary policy idea -- that Europe should become a single
    sovereign state for foreign-policy purposes -- is not likely to be
    embraced any time soon. ("That's the great thing about being a
    political theorist," he says. "If an actual politician stood up and
    said we should abolish Britain or France in its present form, it would
    just be political suicide.")

    Nonetheless, he firmly believes that many of the EU's advocates, with
    their celebrations of post-sovereignty, multilayered arenas of
    governance, and "soft power," are deluding themselves. Old-fashioned
    Hobbesian sovereignty is still what makes the world operate, Mr.
    Morgan says, and the United States is in fact powerful because it is
    sovereign in the traditional sense.

    "Imagine if the United States had to get approval from all 50
    governors for a procurement bill for the military," he says. "Under
    those circumstances the United States would never have been able to
    fight the Second World War."

    And yet that is approximately the cumbersome sort of arrangement that
    the EU's architects have created, Mr. Morgan believes.

    "Typically, Europeans will then say to me, Well, we don't want to
    become like America," he continues. "To which I will then say, Fine.
    But then you should shut up with whining and complaining that America
    does all these things you don't like. As I said earlier, that's the
    brutal choice that Europeans face."

    Richard J. Sweeney, a professor of finance at Georgetown University
    who recently completed a comparative study of the U.S. and draft
    European constitutions, says that Mr. Morgan's proposal is "nonsense,
    and it's a huge threat toward killing off the European Union."

    In Mr. Sweeney's view, the nascent United States required a coherent
    foreign and military policy because it was isolated and vulnerable.
    Modern Europe, he says, faces no comparable vulnerabilities.
    Shoehorning all 25 EU members into a single foreign policy would be a
    recipe for divorce. "You can just imagine if a war were declared
    someday," he says, "and some member countries said, Well, this is

    It would be much better, Mr. Sweeney says, to continue with the
    present ad hoc arrangement in which, for example, Britain and Poland
    choose to send troops to Iraq, while France and Germany demur.
    "Forcing these questions to be asked and answered when they don't have
    to be," he says, "is just asking for trouble."

    Desmond Dinan, a professor of international commerce at George Mason
    University and the author of Europe Recast: A History of European
    Union (Lynne Rienner, 2004), agrees with Mr. Morgan that there is a
    tension -- verging on hypocrisy -- when Europhiles celebrate
    post-sovereignty and at the same time talk about the need to balance
    American power. But he also says that there is no prospect of the
    unitary state that Mr. Morgan proposes. "National interests and
    national identities are just too strong," he says.

    A Broader Conversation

    So what will happen next? Mr. Morgan expects that there will be a
    cooling-off period, and that another constitution will be drafted in a
    few years, as long as the core institutions stay in place. "The
    nightmare scenario is that the euro fails," he says. (A few Italian
    politicians have recently murmured about a return to the lira.)

    Mr. Morgan is not particularly optimistic about his proposal for a
    unitary sovereign state, but he is hopeful that this summer's crisis
    will lead to a broader popular conversation about the European Union's
    purposes. "All of these fundamental justificatory questions are going
    to have to be played out in public now," he says. "I think the old
    elite Europe where the demos was locked out is over now, it's

    Mr. Dinan, meanwhile, believes that the talk of crisis is overblown.
    "I saw a headline the other day that said something like 'Europe in
    Crisis: Schroeder Flies to Luxembourg for Consultation,'" he says.
    "And I thought, well, compared to Munich in 1938 or Europe in August
    1914, this is really not too bad as crises go." It is a measure of the
    European Union's success, he says, that peace on the continent is
    taken so much for granted.

    Not everyone is so comfortable. Mr. Sweeney, of Georgetown, believes
    that the entire project of integration could quickly unravel, and that
    that in turn could lead to a serious risk of war. "Could the EU
    survive if Britain left?" he asks. "I don't think we know the answer
    to that. The union may have gotten so big that they can't now shrink
    without starting a process that sort of accidentally ends in

    Mr. Warleigh, of Limerick, is more sanguine, and has an elaborate plan
    for breathing new life into the union. He would like to see a new
    constitutional convention whose mission would be to draft two
    potential European constitutions.

    One would be an intergovernmental model, in which the member nations
    would have a good deal of power to shape and veto European
    legislation. The other would be a more unitary model, in which EU
    leaders would be chosen directly by the European electorate writ
    large. The two draft constitutions would then be voted on in referenda
    across Europe. If, say, the intergovernmental model won in most
    countries, but the Polish public preferred the unitary model, Poland
    would then hold a second vote about whether or not to remain in the

    This is just the sort of fundamental debate -- a stark and clear
    conversation about the EU's structure -- that Mr. Morgan hopes to see.
    But he realizes that the most difficult arguments are probably yet to
    come. "The questions of political and military policy touch on
    questions of national identity," he says. "That's why this debate has
    now blown up."

    "The Euroskeptics have always said that sovereignty matters, and I
    agree with them," Mr. Morgan continues. "I just disagree about how it
    matters. Sovereignty ought to be located at the European and not at
    the national level. But to get into that issue, we really have to have
    a debate about nationalism."

More information about the paleopsych mailing list