Republican Realism and Ideology in EU Politics
On Thursday, February 25 associate professor of Political Science Andy Scerri gave the inaugural CEUTTSS Jean Monnet Lecture "Republican Realism and Ideology in EU Politics."
The republican definition of liberty as nondomination affords a vantage point from which to critique the application of liberal noninterference as an ‘ideological weapon’. Exploiting compatibility between normative republicanism and methodological realism, a republican realist critique of ideology as surplus power is proposed. The value of this approach is demonstrated in two vignettes. Shown to be ideological in a pejorative sense are widely held beliefs that, in response to the economic crises of the late 1960s and early 1970s, West German elected representatives worked to harmonize sectional interests in accordance with a neutral view of the national interest, and that contemporary efforts to establish a ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ through the EU’s economic recovery program is all that any citizen can legitimately expect of that institution. If politics is an artificially constituted concession that weaker citizens obtain from stronger citizens, thus inadvertently legitimating the latter’s authority, ideological (mis)representation is the furtive reinsertion of coercive power, domination, back into relations between weak and strong.
Andy Scerri is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science, and a core faculty member of the Center of CEUTTSS . He was formerly Research Fellow in the Global Cities Research Institute at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where he was awarded the PhD in International Studies in 2007.
His research interests sit at the intersection of environmental political theory and policy studies, and focus on the relationship between economic redistribution and awareness of climate change in the postindustrial liberal-democracies since the 1970s. He is author of two books, Greening Citizenship (2012) and Postpolitics and the Limits of Nature (2019), and articles in journals including Environmental Politics, Environmental Values, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Appalachian Studies, and Citizenship Studies. He is currently working on a book project designed to bring environmental considerations to bear debates over democratic republican calls for a sortition-based third chamber or citizens’ house of review.