Insecurity of the European Community of Values

Conference Paper

Burgess, J. Peter (2006) Insecurity of the European Community of Values, presented at 47th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), San Diego, 22–25 March.

Abstract: Among the multiple ways in which the European Union seeks to constitute itseself as a quasi-sovereign political body, endowed with the legitimacy neceessary to execute monetary policy, enact law, and deploy a unified foreign policy, is through a reference to a discourse of value: the EU is constured as a community of values, whose necessity, cohesion and self-evidence is implicit. A wide range of the principles and practices of the EU make reference, either directly or subjacently?to a set of fundamental values, whose origin and homogeneity is seldom put into question. One quite natural consequence of this reference to values is a certain kind of securitization of values. If the European Union faces a security challenge, it is related, in one way or another, to its security as a community of values. Yet what does it mean for a community of values to be insecurity, to be the object of security. This paper argues, that while values themselves, and the communities that hold them as there foundation, are indestructable, it is their forms of institutionalization which come threat. By the very nature of the relation between institutions and values, this insecurity structuraly unaoidable.


J. Peter Burgess

J. Peter Burgess

Research Professor & Editor of Security Dialogue