“Europe in the face of the Other”


  • Christian Wevelsiep


Europe – the other - alienation - culture-


The following considerations ask for an ideal Europe, they raise the question of how a continent positions itself to the challenge of the foreigner. The range of possible answers is conceivably wide; and this forces a detour via social-theoretical reflection. There is an ethical foundation of the political, which is abstract and imprecise, but at the same time remains indispensable. The political is the category conceived by Hannah Arendt and other political thinkers to enable resistance to concrete politics permeated by power (1). Another social concept should be clarified: cosmopolitanism. In an ideal world, cosmopolitan values are a prerequisite for the interaction of people of different origins. Could we imagine a cosmopolitan Europe that overcomes all scepticism and will not turn out to be an illusion? (2) On the basis of this guiding distinction, one can question the current political ethics and concretely examine the resource of solidarity: is it a substance that always appears limited, inadequate, deficient - or is it obvious to regard solidarity as a construction immanent in law? (3) Finally, it must be a question of "regaining" a perspective in which solidarity would be understood as self-evidence of the social (4-5).

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