No Culture, No Europe - On the Foundation of Politics
Edited by Pascal Gielen. Amsterdam, Idea Books, Valiz, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN 9789492095039
Over the past decade, the European Union has fallen into a drawn-out crisis, politically as well as economically. In this book, the authors argue that analyses of this crisis miss an important element: culture. Faith in politics, like faith in a European currency, is first and foremost a cultural issue. Democracy is a matter of political culture, just as good economic relations are a matter of economic culture. So, culture is a shared frame of reference and as something that lends meaning to people's lives is not the superstructure but the very foundation of substructure of any society.
The essays analyse and describe both theoretical models and straightforward, concrete and provocative examples that clarify this central thesis: culture is an essential, binding fabric of investigating and assessing our identity, our human activities and how we can critically reflect on these. What would happen if culture succeeded in giving the European project a completely different meaning of sense?
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