Tuesday, September 3, 2013

trans-regional democratic innovation

part of projects on Habermas and the EU and transnationalism

A recent paper, “Trans-National Democratic Innovation in the European Union: Flirting with Deliberative and Plebiscitry Design,” is very relevant to thinking about Habermas’s interest in EU transnationalism. The U.S. correlate would be a matter of trans-state innovation in federalism. Can each learn from the other?

I don’t recall that Habermas gives attention to the European Citizens’ Initiative, which the linked paper above (from the Aug. 2013 Americal Political Science Associsation conference) discusses.

What can thinking about that initiative do for American interest in more deliberative processes in society?

The linked paper doesn’t discuss Habermas. One might wonder why a just-written paper on deliberative processes, from a UK theorist—from a “Centre for the Study of Democracy”—doesn’t discuss Habermas. Is he a bygone resource for EU political theory? Has Habermas not shown interest in the European Citizens’ Initiative?

It’s interesting. One might also wonder generally: What’s the importance of Habermasian political philosophy for thinking in the U.S.? Disputes about Rawlsian / Habermasian relations may sometimes be a theoretical proxy for issues of comparative EU-US political self-understanding. Does the Rawlsian legacy need a Habermas (Martha Nussbaum, for one, seems to think “No”)—or is it that the evolving EU needs to learn more from the U.S. experience? 

What’s the relevance of Habermas for U.S. thinking (as the Rawlsian legacy precedes Habermas’s interest—1992 forward?—by a couple of decades)? The relevance of U.S. thinking for EU issues may be greater than some anticipate (not wanting to connote that the unique US system can be mapped into Europe). Is it fair to frame issues relative to the encompassing question: How are europeans to make a United States of Europe?

What’s the importance of EU problems for thinking in the US about EU-US relations? What’s the place of EU-US relations in general transnational thinking? What’s the place of EU thinking about trans-EU transnational relations for US thinking about trans-US transnational thinking?

How does greater EU public interest in political integration (supposing this) avoid Eurocentrism in this era where transnational thinking should be planetary in horizon?

April 2017: This line of thinking is furthered at “Habermas and the global metropolitan lattice.”

This posting is associated with the “advancing community” area of gedavis.com.