Jürgen Habermas

Accommodate or confront? Either reaction allows rightwing populism to set the political agenda, argues Jürgen Habermas in interview. The Left must regain the initiative and offer a credible response the destructive forces of unbridled capitalism.

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Addressing a panel hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Mercator Foundation on 6 April 2011, Jürgen Habermas criticized political elites for shirking their responsibility of delivering Europe to its citizens, instead relying on opportunism that threatens to “sink 50 years of European history”. Germany in particular is at a crossroads in terms of re-imagining its place in the world (and its place in Europe), a task that German leaders, so far, have met with uninspired policies and politics. (Habermas’ speech is available in German here.)
In the ensuing debate, published below, political, legal and economic experts took up Habermas’ criticisms, addressing in particular the question of the role of the German government in policies leading to what is being seen as the European Union’s crisis of democratic legitimacy. Is Germany’s perceived withdrawal from the common European project at the heart of the current crisis?

EU är förlamat. Gång på gång bromsas unionen av att medlemsländer bedriver politiskt spel med projektets konstitutionella knepigheter. Några tunga politiker har tagit till orda för att råda bot – Joschka Fischer, Gerhard Schröder, Lionel Jospin. I en ny essä argumenterar här den politiske filosofen Jürgen Habermas i ett kontroversiellt ärende: en författning för Europa. Läs. Tänk. Reagera.

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