Silvio Cotellessa, Davide Orsi

The European Union Between «Partnership» and «Civil Association». The Ambivalence of Europe in Michael Oakeshott’s «Inactual Lens»

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Brexit, European Union, Technocracy, Teleocracy

This essay analyses the contemporary debate on European integration in the light of Michael Oakeshott’s political thought. Even though Oakeshott refused to express any opinion on the European project, his ideas offer an interpretative framework according to which the European Union can be understood as both a coercive association (what Oakeshott called a universitas) and an association allowing some autonomy to its members (a societas). The essay considers these issues in the light of Oakeshott’s interpretation of British idealism and Benedetto Croce’s thought, showing the ambivalent character of political organisations and its relation to technocratic discourse and reasoning.

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