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Political Rights Under Stress in 21st Century Europe$
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Wojciech Sadurski

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296033.001.0001

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Political Rights and Political Reason in European Union Law in Times of Stress

Political Rights and Political Reason in European Union Law in Times of Stress

(p.55) 2 Political Rights and Political Reason in European Union Law in Times of Stress
Political Rights Under Stress in 21st Century Europe

Damian Chalmers

Oxford University Press

Political rights are best seen as a form of reason grounding the justification for politics in popular authorship. In his impressive work on the history of the political idea of fear, Corey Robin concludes that it has traditionally been developed as an instrument of rule by the powerful over the less powerful. It is used to justify that power by holding out the possibility of anarchy and nothingness without the presence of an institutional order. By confining the idea of political fear to that sphere, the other forms of repression and fear in a society — be it loss of employment, imprisonment, restrictions on movement, or denial of social benefits — are downplayed. It is here that European Union law ‘under stress’ generates its own sense of critique. There is a sense that this is not right, that it is too ready an importation of the inequalities and inequities of socio-economic life into a political order, which, in principle at least, aspires to be composed of ‘free and equals’.

Keywords:   political rights, Corey Robin, fear, power, European Union, law, stress, anarchy

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