This interdisciplinary collection of essays by a constitutionalist and a political sociologist examines how fragmented societies can be held together by appropriate and effective constitutional arrangements providing for bonds of democratic citizenship.
Exploring the political order dilemmas of capitalist democracies, the authors address moral and institutional prerequisites on which the deepening of European integration depends. The desirability of such deepening is currently contested, with the membership of some states (and their compliance with the spirit of the Union's treaties) at stake.
The authors do not consider the ‘renationalisation’ of Europe to be a feasible (and even less so a desirable) way out of Europe's current malaise. Yet whatever the way out, charting it calls not just for the vision and imagination of political elites but also for the intellectual efforts of social scientists. With this book, Preuß and Offe contribute to those efforts.
• original insights on the nature of the European crisis
• analysis of how fragmented societies can be held together by appropriate constitutional arrangements
• how state sovereignty and federal structures can be merged
• account of the moral prerequisites and resources of democratic polities
• dilemmas of political order under democratic capitalism
‘Half a century ago, two brilliant students caused a sensation with a radical and inspiring memorandum on an overdue university reform in Germany. In their respective academic fields, both have become masters of worldwide renown. It is an exciting experience to follow these two brilliant minds on their intellectual itinerary towards path-breaking interpretations of the present fate of democracy in Europe.’
‘Few will disagree with Claus Offe’s contention “...that the way democracies function and the political outcomes they generate are often frustrating, disappointing, short-sighted, unfair, and thus seriously deficient”. In these essays he and Ulrich Preuß confront the challenges posed by this state of affairs for, and possible approaches to solutions in, citizenship, constitutionalism, the welfare state and, in particular, European integration. Their rigorous philosophical reasoning and rich historical sweep makes this a book with which anyone seeking to grapple with these issues will want to engage.'
Colin Crouch, Professor Emeritus, University of Warwick
'For over 30 years, Claus Offe and Ulrich Preuß – both singly and jointly – have produced some of the most incisive, committed and critical commentary on the democratic and constitutional foundations of the European Union, and the nature of EU citizenship. Blending normative political, social and legal theory with empirical social and political science, the current crises fulfil some of their worst fears at the inadequacies of the Union and stand in need of many of their proposed remedies. These essays demonstrate that solid research and sound critical analysis will always be timely.’
Richard Bellamy, European University Institute and University College London
'Claus Offe and Ulrich K. Preuß, two eminent scholars of politics, law and sociology, have joined forces in this book to analyse the European Union's strengths and weaknesses, more specifically its crisis management and future. In this collection of brilliantly written essays, the authors elucidate key concepts, in particular citizenship, constitutionalism, democracy and the welfare state. This masterpiece of interdisciplinary study should be read by every scholar and student of European politics and law, especially those concerned with the role of citizens in a transnational constitutional democracy and the future of a 'social' Europe.'
Günter Frankenberg, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main