In the early 1930s, Julien Benda provided one of the most uncompromising visions for a united Europe. In line with his rationalist universalism, Benda sought a that was cleansed of passion and particularism, and called on European intellectuals to act as a rationalist vanguard in constructing such a Europe. However, Benda fatefully wavered between polity-building strategies of reshaping and redirection. For the most part, Benda seemed to demand nothing less than a comprehensive reshaping of the moral and political psychology of European citizens. However, his universalism faltered frequently, and he conceived of Europe rather as a large nation, in which the 'passion for reason' would come to dominate other passions. Such ambiguities - and failures to draw a clear line between normative ideals and the pragmatics of polity-building - persist in many present debates on European unification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations
- European integration
- Julien Benda