Since 2008, the European Union has been affected by one of the most severe crises in the history of Europe. This book builds on the work of Jürgen Habermas to answer the key question: is Europe strong enough to overcome the recent crisis? Arguing that recovery can only take place if the citizens of Europe regard themselves as members of a socially integrated European society, this volume sets out three conditions for successful European social integration:
- European citizens mutually respect each other as equals, accepting that all EU citizens should have equal economic, political and social rights.
- Those citizens objecting to the idea of European equality should not constitute a minority with potential for mobilisation that could impede the ongoing process of European social integration.
- Europeans act upon their equality beliefs in everyday practice – without differentiating between nationals and EU migrants.
Based on a survey carried out in Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey, the authors argue that the requirements for a socially integrated Europe are largely in place already. Their findings allow for optimism regarding the future of the EU, as the cultural foundations for a democratisation of Europe are laid.
This volume develops a theoretical framework of a socially integrated European community, and will be useful for students and scholars of sociology, citizenship studies, social policy, political science and European studies.
About the Author
Jürgen Gerhards is Professor at the Free University, Berlin as well as the Managing Director of the Institute of Sociology. His research interests include cultural sociology, comparative European studies and sociology of the public sphere.
Holger Lengfeld is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leipzig. His research focuses on social structure and social inequality, political sociology of European integration and economical as well as organisational aspects of sociology.
Table of Contents
1. The European Union’s Crisis and its Impact on the Social Integration of Europe 2. System Integration and Social Integration in Europe: The Theoretical Framework 3. Europe of Market Citizens 4. Political Citizenship 5. Social Citizenship 6. The Future of the European Union Appendix: Dataset and Variables