Europe and its Idea
Denis GUÉNOUN (Université Paris 4)
In this article, we will argue that Europe is a place of universalization, of an avenue to the universal. From there results the specific tension regarding the concept of European identity: Europe as a distinct cultural sphere on the one hand, and its aspiration to the universal on the other. This tension is complemented from a historical point of view insofar as Europe is the place where the Nation as a traditional framework of politics is increasingly questioned. In this respect, Europe is unlike both the United States, which remains a “nation-entity,” and the “inter-governmental” UN, the place of a particular becoming-universal in the political realm.