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Title: Utopia in adversity : at the borders of the European project
Authors: Abdilla, Raylene
Keywords: Utopias
European Union
Discourse analysis
Issue Date: 2017-05
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of English
Citation: Abdilla, R. (2017). Utopia in adversity : at the borders of the European project. Antae Journal, 4(1), 114-129.
Abstract: The European Union (EU) was envisaged as a bureaucratic cosmopolitan utopia aiming at restoring peace and economic prosperity between European peoples in the aftermath of the Second World War. The aim of this paper is to critically engage with the current institutional framework and political developments of the EU and its Member States and to offer a utopian counter-discourse to the current rise of right-wing populist discourses pervading EU politics. In order to achieve this, in the first part of the paper I will delve into what I mean by “utopia” following James D. Ingram’s and Chantal Mouffe’s work. In particular, my contention will be that utopian politics is an open-ended struggle which demands that the realm of politics facilitates contestations between “adversaries” in a democratic context. Furthermore, I will posit that where political institutions fail to bring about just and democratic processes, the people have the right and responsibility to demand change through civil mobilisation and alternative ways of resistance, through what Bonnie Honig calls an agonistic cosmopolitcs. The second part of this essay tackles two case studies of the political reactions of Greece and the UK in the face of the current hegemonic and technocratic character of the EU. The third part then deals with the cosmopolitan traces (or lack thereof) which are inherent in the EU institutional frameworks in lieu of the development of the unprecedented immigration crisis. Finally, I conclude by giving insights on how the EU needs to develop into an agonistic cosmopolitan polity.
Appears in Collections:Antae Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1
Antae Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1

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