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Synopsis

The invocation of ‘the market’ has been omnipresent in media discussions of ‘crisis Europe’. On the one hand, ‘the market’ is presented as that to which EU member states must collectively respond. It is the very purpose of a post-national government and that which dictates individual and collective identities. The expansion of market is that which guarantees and constitutes peace in Europe. On the other hand, ‘the market’ is that which government must seek to tame. It is the servant of government and ought not be permitted to undermine collective identities and solidarities associated with the juridical imaginary of social contract and sovereign nation-state. It is, from this perspective, the expansion of the social institutions of nation-state into the post-national arena that will constitute a lasting peace in Europe.

Cosmopolitan Government in Europe uses a Foucauldian lens to consider the ethics of the scholarly and institutional discourses associated with these apparently divergent market and legal cosmopolitan visions of Europe. It reflects on attempts to reconcile or move beyond these discourses, particularly through the invocation of more pluralist modes of governance, but claims that such moves have been largely unsuccessful in both practice and theory. It argues that the very ambiguity in the relationship between the ideal subjects that these market and legal visions promote – respectively, post-national ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘citizen’ – is that which permits a space for resistance and politics. Thus, the book argues for a pragmatic politics which is cognizant of the violent potential inherent in any cosmopolitan attempt to govern Europe, while recognising the contemporary dangers associated with the dominance of a market cosmopolitan Europe.

 

This work is an important and timely intervention in contemporary debates about democratic Europe and its shortcomings and will be of great interest to scholars of international political theory, European studies and international political economy.

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