Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ulrich Beck in the Guardian

For those of you interested in the work of Ulrich Beck, you might be interested in this article in The Guardian.

Nation-state politics can only fail the problems of the modern world

Europe is Europe's last remaining realistic political utopia. But Europe remains to be understood and conceptualised. This historically uniqueform of international community cannot be explained in terms of the traditional concepts of politics and the state, which remain trapped in the straitjacket of methodological nationalism. If we are to understand cosmopolitan Europe, we must radically rethink the conventional categories of social and political analysis.

Just as the Peace of Westphalia brought the religious civil wars of the 17th century to an end through the separation of church and state, so too the separation of state and nation represents the appropriate response to the horrors of the 20th century. And just as the secular state makes the exercise of different religions possible, so too must cosmopolitan Europe guarantee the coexistence of different ethnic, religious and political forms of life across national borders based on the principle of cosmopolitan tolerance. More here....