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Distorted Universals. Europe, Translation, and the Universalism of the Other

Vol.2, No. 1, September 2006
Deutsch | français

Oliver MARCHART (Universität Basel)

This article raises the question of how Europe’s traditional claim of being the source of universal cultural values has to be reflected upon in the context of the enlarged European Union of 25 member states. In opposition to the official EU doctrine of a pluralism of 25 equivalent and equally “authentic” members, the author contends that Europe is rather an “entity which emerges, and emerges only, within a constitutively distorted discursive space.” Following Derrida’s Monolinguism of the Other, the author concludes that rather than being characterized by a pluralist universalism, the EU is in fact driven by an essential antagonism which determines the political sphere as such.