Europe and the new citizenship

Rosi Braidotti, from Transpositions (69, 71). I’ll comment on this later, after I’ve digested it a bit and figured out if there’s something more here than there seems to be.

I…want to look at the changing position of Europe in a globalized world. My argument proceeds in two Phases: firstly, I will argue that the new context of the European Union, defined as a post-nationalist project, provides the ground for a significant relocation of whiteness by introducing as disjunction between traditional European cultural identities and the notion of a new European citizenship (Balibar 2001). Secondly, in so far as it unsettle molar European identity, I will argue that the European Union marks a process of becoming-minor of the masterful European subject.

The ‘new’ European Union is a multi-layered and contested social space. As a major player within the global economy, the EU is positioned simultaneously as the main ally and the main alternative to American hegemony. It can consequently be seen as the contemporary variation on the theme of a self-appointed centre which universalizes its own reading of ‘civilization.’ It also continues, however, a solid social democratic and hence relatively progressive project that not only counteracts the United States on a number of key issues (privacy laws, genetically modified food, women’s and gay rights), but also makes a deliberate attempt to distance itself from Europe’s former role as imperial centre….

The European Union project has to do with the sobering experience of taking stock of our specific location and, following the feminist politics of location, adopting embedded and embodied perspectives. It is about turning our collective memory to the service of a new political and ethical project, which is forward-looking and not nostalgic.

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