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JH and difficulties of governing the EU

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  • Gary E. Davis
    Only this week has JH s The Crisis of the European Union become available in the U.S. (Polity delightfully divides its publication dates into U.S. and ROW
    Message 1 of 2 , May 24, 2012
      Only this week has JH's The Crisis of the European Union become available in the U.S. (Polity delightfully divides its publication dates into "U.S." and "ROW" [Rest of World]. Why the ROW get books before the U.S. is a curious thing. But it's interesting to note that the U.S. edition reverses the order of essays, apparently. (The book description refers to the human rights essay as first, but it's not).

      [If you don't see 4 hyperlinks in this email below, see the archival posting at the Yahoo! Group site.]

      The EU situation is changing so quickly that one might wonder about the topicality of JH's essay on the EU over a year after it was written. But it certainly would remain relevant for the long-term issues of EU governance. However, JH has provided his view more recently, mid-March, 2012, which perhaps you know (because you keep up with Thomas Gregersen's wonderful blog more diligently than I've done lately): "Bringing the Integration of Citizens into link with the Integration of States". But—ha!—Sarkozy was still President of France then. And now, growth-oriented policy is almost the consensus position (as Merkel looks increasingly isolated, both globally and domestically). How things change so quickly!

      I find JH's March article to be an accurate assessment of what's going on (though it's understandly biased toward polemic that would be most relevant to a German audience, i.e., polemic against Merkel's policies). But the accuracy I read might not be the accuracy that JH intends, for I see irony in his article: His critique of the lack of democratic efficacy by EU "technocrats" (a "legitimation crisis") is undermined by the complexities of democratization that JH explicates later in his article, as if EU leadership, facing a near-term crisis, was supposed to have provided for resolution of long-term problems which JH finds intractible. For example, his appreciation of national differences (against a homogenizing notion of European nationality, late in his article) undermines his earlier holding culpable EU leadership for not making more progress toward fiscal integration. His blaming of EU leadership for not being more communicative is relative to
      information that is widely available to anyone who reads the news because the EU leadership is so communicative. It's  not that a public can't know the reality of the fiscal problems. It's that the public is an inestimable mix of informed and ill-informed views, and angry citizens favor vocal reactionism that's ill-informed (ergo reactionary populism). But no one is hiding the answer. JH asserts that "each of us [should have] combined in his or her person the role of a national citizen with the role of a citizen of the European Union," but not buy into a notion of European nationality. He acknowledges the global context of the EU fiscal problems, but blames EU leadership for not having time to educate the public in a crisis.

      But JH is certainly an exemplary polemical voice. A highly complementary voice is Amartya Sen's commentary of this week, which more succinctly conveys the point that JH is generally making: "The Crisis of European Democracy."

      Gary


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    • Gary E. Davis
      I forgot: The Yahoo! software doesn t transmit embedded links (and screws up punctuation). Here s my posting (a little revised) as blog entry (including
      Message 2 of 2 , May 24, 2012
        I forgot: The Yahoo! software doesn't transmit embedded links (and screws up punctuation).


        Here's my posting (a little revised) as blog entry (including links):

        "JH and difficulties of governing the EU"

        http://ourevolving.blogspot.com/2012/05/jh-and-difficulties-of-governing-eu.html

        I don't mean to be vain, but it seems useful to use the Yahoo! list to link to better, revisable postings.


        G

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