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Habermas and the many challenges of Solidarity in the European Union. An impracticable path?

Thu, November 10, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Omni Parker, Floor: Mezzanine, Longfellow


The idea of solidarity as a principle actively operating in social and political change has been investigated from a philosophic-political point of view by Jürgen Habermas with reference to the European Union. In his view, the value of solidarity, if implemented in political activity not only at a national, but also and especially at a trans-national level, can contribute not only to addressing various forms of vulnerability and claims of recognition (e.g. political, cultural, religious, economic), but also to opening up new perspectives on the legitimacy of democratic procedures of political participation. In this paper I will trace the evolution of Habermas’ thought on solidarity in the EU across the decades, showing that he seems to exhibit discouragement towards his own original idea of that value as a distinctively deontic principle of neo-Kantian flavour (as it can be evinced from his article “Justice and Solidarity: On the Discussion Concerning Stage 6”; 1986). By taking into consideration some articles published between 2009 and 2018, I will propose that his acknowledgment of a failure in processes of democratization of European Institutions continues to make room for his early idea of solidarity and justice as “two sides of the same coin”. By so doing, I will lay particular stress on his view of “double sovereignty”, which tries to reconcile the power of agency of individual States with the perspective of a distinctively European citizenship.