Contradictions and Constraints
Edited by Sandra Seubert, Oliver Eberl and Frans van Waarden
Chapter 4: Market or polis? Sources of different rights and conflicting social logics in the dynamics of European integration
Chapter 4 addresses the common historical origins and the conflicting social logics of the ‘market’ and the ‘polis’. It relates these issues to the context of European cooperation and integration, critically reconstructing the founding history of the EU: the hope that integration of national markets into one single European market would produce shared material interests and, in turn, prevent any major future inter-state conflicts as the first half of the 20th century had seen. Some 60 years later European integration through the further internationalisation of markets has increased the choice for consumers, workers and investors. However, in the polis the influence of choice has been reduced. Liberalisation and privatisation policies have diminished the authority of political actors. It is concluded that a liberalisation policy carried to the extreme leaves no more room for a political domain, which would be a real ‘tragedy of the commons’.
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