The Distinct Nature of the European Union

In: Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations


This article aims to examine the distinct nature of the European Union (EU), specifically from a neo-Calvinist perspective. While Herman Dooyeweerd makes a distinction between a state and an international organization, namely the United Nations (UN), within his radical type of juridically qualified societal structures, he mainly deals with the state in his work. This article considers whether Jonathan Chaplin’s critique of Dooyeweerd’s distinction, focusing on coercion and legitimacy in the context of the un, may be helpful to establish the nature of the EU. In addition, it introduces another distinction to this end, namely between the state as a political community and the nation as a cultural community. This distinction suggests the need to think about an additional category in between an inter-communal relationship and a community: the EU as a “community of peoples”.


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