This article provides an application of Alvin Gouldner's dialectic between Romanticism and Classicism to the constitutional process of European identity formation. Gouldner introduced his dialectical sociology in a critical attempt to destroy compulsive identification with any fixed idea of order. In an attempt to destroy compulsive identification with any Romantic or classical idea of Europe, this article shows how Europe's identity, as it has been represented in the Constitutional Treaty (CT), as well as in sociological works, is being shaped by predominant Romantic and classic thought structures and social movements. The central argument is that the dialectic between Romanticism and Classicism in Europe is most clearly observed in the debates about democracy, human rights and rule of law — the classical values that constitute the EU's entry criteria.
- European Constitution
- Alvin Gouldner