The prospect of a European republic: What European citizens are voting on

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Series Details Vol.42, No.4, August 2005, p913-941
Publication Date June 2005
ISSN 0165-0750
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Publishers Abstract:
This article shows that the realisation of the European Constitutional Treaty should lead to a political entity that plausibly qualifies not as a federal State, but as a federal republic. This classification should help illuminate its nature and purpose, as well as the opportunities and risks involved. It provides a precise account of what kind of project might fail with the Constitutional Treaty. The conceptual term republic has been used in the past, with some frequency, to give a political entity the constitutional luster of the Roman Republic, to legitimize it. Even if the author does, indeed, prefer the Constitutional Treaty's republican project to its likely alternatives, the usage of the term republic, as suggested here, is not apologetic. It is uncertain whether the republican thrust of the Constitution for Europe will be realized. There are serious risks involved here, as well. The legitimating project could remain a mere fa├žade. And serious political tension about the basic course of the development is also quite possible within the republic. These stakes, though, are the price to pay for the chance to shape the future; they must be weighed against the often underestimated risk of trying to solidify an unsustainable status quo.

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