By Zaki Laïdi (auth.)
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Additional resources for Norms over Force: The Enigma of European Power
For as long as we are moving in a global economy in which competition and trade relations are intensifying, the terms of the debate are altered. Unlike the practice of the past 40 years, it is no longer simply a matter of lowering tariff and nontariff barriers between countries to trade peacefully on the basis of wellunderstood mutual interests. The stakes are much higher than that. They involve exploring the possibility of harmonizing social systems. There is a risk of not understanding the real issues of globalization if it is not clear that what is now at stake is no longer simple competition between economies, but competition between social systems.
There was hardly anything idealistic and even less so unrealistic about Monnet’s constructivism, because it functioned on very concrete bases. But it provided proof that there was nothing intangible about the supposed realism of states. Even when they are “realist,” states can conceive of “realism” in different ways. At this stage in my reasoning, it is easy to understand that European power draws its meaning in a constructivist view of the world order— an order in which processes matter as much as structures.
The fact remains that the absence of a European demos must be the starting point to understand the unlikely conversion of Europe to the logic of a hard power. If Europe does not constitute a demos, it has no reason to conceive of its security and survival in identical terms. Certainly, there are joint threats and common challenges Europe must face, globalization being one of them. And as we shall see, it is at this level that Europe can be a useful and effective actor. But global threats in no way diminish local threats.