A Differentiated “Dual Track” European Union as a Remedy in Times of Crisis? Debating Habermas, Arendt, and the Theoretical Foundations of Graduated European Integration

Lars Rensmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


    This EU IDEA paper engages with ideational origins and normative po- litical theories of European differentiated integration. Speci cally, it exa- mines a “graduated” policy of integration backed by European-wide refe- renda in light of the work of Jürgen Habermas and Hannah Arendt – two theorists who are strong advocates of European political integration and constitutionalisation. The paper illuminates justi cations, advantages, dilemmas and problems of such differentiated integration with regard to its democratic legitimacy and normative as well as political-theoretical plausibility. While Habermas has proposed and re ned this model, Aren- dt’s radically pro-European ideas can work as a cautioning corrective alerting to the risks and potentially disintegrating effects of differentia- ted solidarity and integration on the European project. While she would arguably see the democratic legitimation bene ts of a European-wide constitutional referendum as suggested by Habermas, her work also points to the risks of further fragmenting or even dismantling the EU altogether.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRome
    Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission
    Number of pages31
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2020

    Publication series

    NameEUIDEA Research Papers


    • Habermas
    • Arendt
    • differentiated integration
    • European Union

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