Political justice, political obligation and the European Union: Lessons from Habermas

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What principles of political justice ought to apply to the European Union? This question is particularly relevant considering the deepening integration process that resulted from the crises of the past decade. Habermas’s conception of a transnational democracy allows identification of the methodological components of transnational political justice: to unite in a transnational polity, people belonging to different national communities need a common purpose (finalité), principles governing the distribution of constitutional and legislative power and a common political infrastructure that allows them to form democratic will as free and equal citizens. This article attempts to further expand these points through a public goods approach. European policies generate European public goods. These must be produced and accessed based on a fair cooperation scheme. Identifying these specific fairness conditions allows further clarification on how legislative and constitutional power ought to be distributed within the European polity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-636
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
Issue number4
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Last Systematic Philosopher: A Retrospective on J. Habermas - NOVA FCSH, CAN, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 21 Nov 201922 Nov 2019


  • European Union
  • Habermas
  • Political obligation
  • Recovery fund
  • Transnational democracy
  • Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
  • Common European Asylum System CEAS
  • Legitimacy


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