Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Europe as a Philosophical Idea and Political Subject

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.10.00  Humanities  Philosophy   

Code Science Field
H001  Humanities  Philosophy 

Code Science Field
6.03  Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 
European crisis, Idea of Europe, Europe as a political subject, neoliberalism, democracy, post-democracy, subjectivation, political constitution
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30790  PhD Rok Benčin  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  195 
2.  22569  PhD Aleš Bunta  Humanities  Researcher  2017 - 2020  80 
3.  06589  PhD Aleš Erjavec  Philosophy  Retired researcher  2017 - 2020  755 
4.  11486  PhD Marina Gržinić Mauhler  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  1,699 
5.  13472  PhD Peter Klepec  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  288 
6.  30660  PhD Gregor Kroupa  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  54 
7.  09251  PhD Tomaž Mastnak  Philosophy  Retired researcher  2017 - 2020  862 
8.  29356  PhD Gregor Moder  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  166 
9.  33358  PhD Boštjan Nedoh  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  135 
10.  04849  PhD Igor Pribac  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  409 
11.  02155  PhD Radivoj Riha  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  325 
12.  06397  PhD Jelica Šumič Riha  Philosophy  Head  2017 - 2020  373 
13.  28442  PhD Tadej Troha  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  272 
14.  12330  PhD Matjaž Vesel  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  179 
15.  11158  PhD Alenka Zupančič Žerdin  Philosophy  Researcher  2017 - 2020  422 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,440 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,542 
The current discussions about the crisis in Europe and about possible solutions at the level of state institutions, humanitarian organisations and civil society, as well as reactions to suggested solutions, such as protest movements, new forms of nationalism and populism, have generated a new dilemma: Is the project of European integration, which was considered a new model of transnational democracy and sovereignty, a failed project and should we consequently "finish with Europe", or should we strive to establish "another Europe," on new political and philosophical foundations? In contrast to the approach shared by the great majority of current economic, political and cultural analyses of the current crisis of European integration, centred on questions of how the EU works or fails to work, as well as in contrast the crisis discourse, where, under daily political pressures, solutions to solutions to problems are sought for within the existing framework, which prevents any productive solution to the crisis, we argue that, because a united Europe is an entity in the making, its preservation and development require ceaseless social, political, cultural, economic and, above all, philosophical inventions. Our initial hypothesis that the unsatisfactory philosophical foundation of Europe as a political subject (which can only be constituted if it rests on the idea of Europe) is an integral part of the current crisis of the European political project implies that we cannot think of Europe as a political project in isolation from Europe as a philosophical project. The economic, political and social crisis of the European project with which we are faced today is therefore also a crisis of philosophical reflection on the idea of Europe and of Europe as a political subject resting on that idea. The goal of our project, however, is not to suggest in undisputable idea of Europe that could serve as the basis for future integration processes, but rather to contribute to a rethinking of the very relationship between the idea and subjectivation. That relationship is based upon an understanding of the idea as a starting point in becoming and of the subject as shifting the limits of the politically possible. The proposed philosophical analysis of the roots of the current European crisis will be conducted on three levels: 1. Anchoring our reflection on Europe as a political subject in the idea of Europe, we will reconstruct it in its historical trajectory and present complexities; 2. we will analyse the nature of the current crisis of Europe and carefully examine how, and to what extent, is the crisis rooted in the constitution of the EU; 3. since the philosophical foundation of Europe as a political subject in the idea of Europe requires a critical systematic rethinking of the philosophical concept of the subject in its various aspects, our third objective is an in‐depth analysis of philosophical and psychoanalytical theories of the subject, and elaboration of a general theory of the subject that would adequately meet the need for reflection on Europe as a political subject. The overarching goal of the project is to elaborate a concept of Europe as a political subject that is constituted as an emancipatory, egalitarian-universal intervention into the political situation and that forms the idea of Europe in becoming. In addition, yet in accordance with the main project hypothesis, which brings to the fore the idea of Europe as the foundation of Europe as a democratic political subject, this project seeks to delineate philosophy's role in clarifying the causes for the current European crisis and make an important contribution to the building of a philosophical and political platform for the reinvention of democracy in Europe.
Significance for science
The proposed project critically examines the current European crisis in all its complexity: economic (debt crisis), political (democracy deficit in the EU) and societal (migration and refugee crisis) from a perspective which is resolutely philosophical. Seen from such a perspective, the current European crisis concerns not only politics and the economy but essentially intervenes in philosophy itself, demanding that it reconfigures its relation to politics and other disciplines, in particular history, legal theory, sociology and also psychoanalysis, which – due to the very nature of the subject of the proposed research – necessarily engage in the current discussions about it. The principal impact of the project on the development of philosophy consists in a rethinking (from the point of view of the contemporary situation of political, economic and social crisis in Europe) of the philosophical foundations of the idea of Europe and of a number of key concepts in contemporary political philosophy. Our philosophical research into the historical trajectory of the idea of Europe will fill in the gaps that are, despite the clear public interest in the history of the integration of Europe, clearly detectable in thinking about the relations between philosophical foundations, political and economic interests and current integration processes in Europe. Among the original contributions of our project will be the conceptualisation of the transformation of social relations dictated by neoliberal policies and of new forms of political subjectivation, the key to the understanding of which is the reformulation of the notion of populism which we plan to undertake. In terms of the immediate relevance of the proposed project for philosophy, an original reconceptualisation of some central philosophical concepts, such as the concepts of the subject, the idea, the universal, the constitution, all of which will allow philosophy to better address the problems of our time, it will also be beneficial for developing new modalities of interdisciplinary research. Thus the in-depth analysis of the history of the idea of Europe emphasises the points of convergence between philosophy, history, legal theory, economy and religion. Issues such as the constitutional deficit, new modalities of subjectivation, populism, post-democracy, etc. are the key to understanding the unfolding of the current crisis and prospects for its solution and provide a solid basis for a fruitful collaboration between philosophy, sociology, political and legal studies, as well as psychoanalysis. The long-term impact of our project will thus be twofold: (1) the impact within the field of philosophy, since the reworking of the concepts of the subject and the idea has implications for the whole field of philosophy, not just for the narrower field of political philosophy; (2) the extra-philosophical impact, since the project will affirm the relevance of philosophy for research in other fields.
Significance for the country
One of the main objectives of the proposed project that broaches a wide range of issues (economic, political, humanitarian, legal, social, etc.), is to raise awareness of the fundamental problems that Europe is currently facing. Setting out from the assumption that understanding the common roots of the current crisis can lead to better insight into possibilities for its solution, it falls to philosophy, as a social task, to highlight and bring into discussion the long-term aspects of and different perspectives on the current situation. Political and economic measures taken over the past years have shaken the foundations of social relations and generated doubts about European integration and the system of representative democracy as such. The introduction of a quasi-permanent situation of emergency and the deepening of ideological divisions create a growing uncertainty. The project will analyse the consequences of the crisis for the state of democracy in Europe, which will make a contribution to reflection on the negative long-term structural consequences of the crisis, which the prevailing political discourse and the mainstream media refuse, or are unable, to even acknowledge. In its philosophical and historical dimension, our research will raise awareness of the philosophical background of the notion of Europe – both of the Enlightenment values on which it rests and of the exclusionary element that has also been present throughout its history. This will enable a better-founded discussion of the elements of the idea of Europe that could serve as a starting point for reopening Europe's future. The conceptualisation of the idea of Europe and of Europe as a political subject that we will undertake in this project will bear directly on the ongoing debate about the future of Europe. The project will make an important contribution to the intellectual basis for a re-democratisation founded on egalitarian principles and on non-exclusionary universalism. The analyses critically discussed by the proposed project and its own results will allow the problem of the current condition of Europe and the possibilities still open to it to be placed on a sounder foundation. Dissemination of the research results will ensure the effective circulation of our findings both within the academic community and among the broader public.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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