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Brexit: Choosing the Open Sea

Political Theory
Knowledge
Normative Theory
TS04

Room: General

Tuesday 14:00 - 15:15 (28/07/2020)


Abstract

Instructor: Attracta Ingram University, College Dublin Abstract: In an angry row with Charles de Gaulle on the eve of D day, Winston Churchill is reputed to have bellowed: ‘Every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose.’ This is the enduring sentiment behind Brexit. Brexit is done. But not gone away. It stans proxy for issues that face all EU nation states: what belongs under national control, and what under supranational control? Maastricht suggests one answer. Brexit acts out another. Europe may have to reconsider ‘ever closer union’ given the stubborn realities of national attachments. My paper is part of a larger project committed to the idea that Europe and the national states is not an either/or but a both/and problem. That means it is a version of the familiar problem of the individual relation to the collectivity. And the proposed solution is to aim for reconciliation of the conflicting national and cosmopolitan ideals that Sidgwick identified as Britain’s choice more than 100 years ago. This paper aims to demonstrate how the historical investment in building a nation state generates that sense of ownership and national feeling that that government ignores at its peril. That is the genesis of democratic concerns to be in control of lives and livelihoods that calls for the conversation of Europe. Student Reading: Schumann, Declaration Miller, Ch. 2 On Nationality O’Neill, Ch. 4 Justice across Boundaries Extra Readings: Barry, ‘Self-Government Revisited’ Appiah, Ch. 6 Ethics and Identity