Imagining Europe. Transnational Contestation and Civic Populism

Paul Blokker (ed.) (2021)

Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Abstract. This book provides an extensive analysis and discussion of the transnational mobilization of citizens and youth, alongside the production of creative, imaginative, and constructive solutions to the European crisis. The volume provides a variety of interdisciplinary analyses, as well as a series of perspectives on populism that have not been addressed extensively, including an examination of left-wing populism, the constituent power dimension of populism, and transnational manifestations of populism, contributing to debates on political science, political sociology, social movements studies, and political and constitutional theory.

Extract: “Yuliya Moskvina’s chapter analyses the political discourse of left-wing transnational movements applying the notion of engagement, as developed by Laurent Thévenot (Thévenot 2006), distinguishing between three formats of politics. The first type of engagement – engagement in justification – regards forms of justification by means of public claims and action. In their seminal work On Justification, Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot develop six such forms of justification (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006). Transnational movements engage in justifying work by means of the articulation of a common good which the European project is to endorse. […]
One distinction one can make with regard to discourses on European integration, of significant relevance for the debate on the Future of Europe, is between ‘prosaic’ and ‘imaginative’ positions. Prosaic positions take the existing situation largely for granted, and do not question key components/institutions/actors or relationships between them. Imaginative accounts, instead, imagine a different situation, in which European integration might be something rather different from what it is now. A further difference is between ‘reformist’ and ‘radical’ positions (cf. Boltanski and Chiapello 2005), where a reformist position indicates a stance that wants to change the existing policies, but not the entire institutional make-up.” (p. 11)

Link to the book