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Michael C. LaBelle

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Energy Cultures

Technology, Justice, and Geopolitics in Eastern Europe

Michael C. LaBelle

This thought-provoking book explores the concept of energy cultures as a means of understanding social and political relations and how energy injustices are created. Using Eastern Europe as an example, it examines the radical transition occurring as the region leaves behind the legacy of the Soviet Union, and the effects of the resulting power struggle between the energy cultures of Russia and the European Union.
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Michael C. LaBelle

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Michael C. LaBelle

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Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke

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Regional Governance in the EU

Regions and the Future of Europe

Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke

The role of regions in the European Union has been frequently debated since the 1980s. This comprehensive book provides a thorough overview of the issue from a variety of perspectives, analysing regional governance and territorial dynamics in the EU and its member states. Focusing on the implications of the democratisation–regionalisation nexus, it argues that a ‘Europe with the regions’ may promote good governance and ameliorate the democratic deficits of the EU.
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Sandra Seubert

The EU is still torn between market and polis, leaving the situation negligently undecided as to whether it should be developed into an instrument of catching up with economic and cultural globalisation or as an accelerator of it. In this situation ‘reconsidering European citizenship’ ought to be interpreted as empowerment rather than protection. Four areas of such empowerment are sketched: (1) reclaiming constituent power; (2) de-constitutionalising the treaties; (3) enhancing direct legitimation – empowering a transnational parliament; and (4) accomplishing a transnational citizenship status.

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Jan Komárek

Chapter 3 elaborates a conceptual structure for an inquiry into the question of balance between rights and duties related to EU citizenship. It starts from the observation that, for some time, the absence of EU citizens’ duties was interpreted as marking the immaturity of EU citizenship and a major difference from the citizenship of a state. The chapter continues by linking this evaluation first, to more general debates which express dissatisfaction with the current ‘culture of rights’ and, second, to the critique about a lack of conceptual clarity when citizens’ duties are invoked in the context of debates on EU citizenship. The question of what their justification can possibly be relates to ongoing debates on the EU’s very legitimacy, where the liberal focus on rights is often criticised at the expense of communitarian or republican values focusing on collectivity rather than individuality.

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Sandra Seubert

Chapter 9 addresses and evaluates EU citizenship under the lens of cosmopolitanism. By reconstructing cosmopolitan principles, the chapter aims: first, to discuss the question of whether or not transnationalisation is a step towards a realisation of cosmopolitanism; and, second, to propose a relationship with the development and prospect of EU citizenship as an example of the attempt to transnationalise (citizenship) rights. The cosmopolitan frame of reference is aimed at helping to assess the EU’s prospects and challenges as a transnational membership regime. Seubert argues that a cosmopolitan standpoint generates an inherent tension for the EU: even if EU citizenship moves towards a transnational form, as a federation of states it is still a bounded entity – bounded through the borders of its member states. It is proposed, therefore, that we should think of cosmopolitanism not as something static and fixed, but rather as a transformative process – cosmopolitisation.

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Sandra Seubert

Chapter 1 relates the debate on EU citizenship to the puzzle of a European political union, and demonstrates how EU citizenship is caught in the ‘double loop’ of contradictions and constraints: the contradiction between the political language of citizenship and the economic logic of free movement on the one hand; and the constraint that arises from the rivalling legitimatory demands of international and supranational forms of political cooperation on the other. For the future of EU citizenship, the extent to which the EU succeeds in appropriately channelling pan-European conflicts of wealth disparities and redistribution will prove to be decisive. With regard to EU citizenship, the choice is between a weak, integrated status or a strong(er), differentiated status. While the former tends to undermine substantial equality, the latter tends to undermine formal equality.