The European Union faces a great challenge: nationalism. In the view of many citizens, the European project has become a shallow idea. Many citizens seem to associate the EU with an overly large number of bureaucrats, a lack of democracy, and a weak organization that fails to improve their lives. They claim that their voice is not really heard by the EU; they feel disrespected or left behind, and, therefore, cry for respect. Similar attitudes are held by secessionist movements, such as in Catalonia or Scotland, towards their home states.
We think that such attitudes are a major motivation to support nationalistic parties and movements. But how does nationalism promise to satisfy the cry for respect? How do the relevant attitudes play a crucial role in forms of nationalism, and how do they affect arguments about the pros and cons, as well as the foundations and limits, of a transnational project such as the European Union? How do these attitudes affect, undermine, but perhaps also possibly support rational political discourse or the “public use of reason” (Kant)?
The conference aims to answer these questions by bringing together leading experts in philosophy, politics, social science, law, and media, so as to integrate state-of-the art theories of emotions, reasoning and rationality, and approaches to nationalism.
Funded by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung