Europe in an age of austerity: contradictions of capitalism and democracy

Delanty, Gerard (2012) Europe in an age of austerity: contradictions of capitalism and democracy. International Critical Thought, 2 (4). pp. 445-455. ISSN 2159-8282

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Instead of identity and other concepts drawn from the EU's own discourse about itself, there needs to be greater attention given to the balance between capitalism and democracy in the making of Europe and that this must be seen in terms of a ‘European societal model’, related, but in tension, with the more domestic notion of what has been called a ‘European social model’. This is not something that can be reduced either to the EU or its member states, but is nonetheless a discernible reality and an expression of European political modernity. The thesis is that the apparent failure of the EU to crystalize into a new polity is due to the recalcitrance of the European societal model and that this does not take one form but many. Today the conflict between capitalism and democracy is all the more stark and the forms of identity that can be associated with the democratic ethic may be in tension with the capitalist spirit of the European project. We need to locate the current crisis and a new wave of contentious politics in a broader framework of modernity of a shift in the relationship between capitalism and democracy. As a result of this Europe may becoming more European in that conflicts around social justice appear to be returning and there is now a debate about capitalism on a national, European and wider global level.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Gerard Delanty
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 09:26
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 09:26
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