European transformation: A pragmatic approach

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Series Details No.11, August 2010
Publication Date 2010
ISSN 1504-6907
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Europe has been transformed from an order of largely independent nation-states to an integrated order with some capacity to rule in the name of all. The European integration process has resulted in a set of institutions premised on a complex mixture of supranational, transnational and intergovernmental principles. It is difficult to understand how this could have happened voluntarily when the Union lacks important enabling conditions, such as a collective European identity based on a common language and culture. The pragmatist approach depicts cooperation as a response to problematic situations, and institution formation as a response to the indirect consequences of such, which increasingly catches on and has polity consequences. The effect is more legal regulation, which triggers claims to democracy. The integration process is to a large degree driven by contestation and opposition. The paper also addresses ‘the nature of the beast’. What could the EU possibly amount to? A regional subset of an emerging larger cosmopolitan order?

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