Redefinitions of EU borders (enlargements, Brexit), geopolitical challenges (conflicts, migrations, terrorism, environmental risks) and the economic and financial crises have triggered debates on the common values that hold European countries and citizens together, justify public action and ensure the sustainability of European governance.
This book discusses the genesis of and increasing references to “European values”, their appropriation by diverse groups of actors and their impact on public action. It argues that European values are a broad and flexible symbolic repertoire, instrumental to serving diverging ends, and a resource for both negotiation and conflicts. Looking at the broader picture, the book reflects on the role of values in the institutionalization of the EU as a political order and paves the way to an assessment of its singularity in comparison with other polities across time and space.
This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners in EU politics, comparative politics, IR, public policy, sociology and cultural studies.