ascribed status justifying seeing some as the natural servants of others,
that individuals should be treated as moral equals, able to act as
responsible and autonomous agents free from the domination of others.
However, different versions of the rule of law cash out this linkage between
equality and autonomy in different ways. One version, surveyed in section 2,
argues that the key lies in the law having a certain form: namely in being
been compromised in its theoretical formulation by the importation of
classical or patriarchal norms, and the third suggests that, although the
public–private distinction proposed by liberalism may in theory be
gender-neutral, liberal regimes have in practice worked against the
interests of women.
The first critique focuses on the question of subjectivity,
claiming the liberal discourse of individual autonomy to be prescriptive
notion of the
post-traditional individual has elements that should be attractive
to progressives. If a core goal for the Left has been creating the
conditions that allow for individual autonomy as human fulfilment,
then Giddens’s reflective, creative individual would seem to
be true to that tradition. There are similarities here with
MacIntyre’s richer version of human fulfilment
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis, and Kostas Ifantis
state facilitate this tightening of the
global/local relationship for countries occupying different positions in the
global system’.9 In this context, Held argues that relations of economic, political
and cultural interdependencies across the globe – and more so in Europe – are
undermining the sovereignty and autonomy of states in all aspects of their security (and elsewhere).10 Closely linked with this process is the emergence of new
states in Europe, and hence the need to trace the components of the new European system. At the same time, revision of the economic and
Commission. However, if the issue is somewhat less sensitive – for example, the
issue of cooperation with a region like Latin America – then the Council
tends to be more likely to give the Commission more autonomy to negotiate
agreements and policies.
Qualified majority voting
By the 1980s, the EU consisted of twelve member states. With a view to
increasing the number of decisions accepted avoiding vetos, the Single
European Act (1986) started to introduce changes such as QMV in relation
to issues such as trade in goods. With each enlargement of the EU, more
poses a major challenge to foreign policy analysts. State-centricity is
further challenged by related processes like interdependence and
transnationalism which directly challenge the autonomy of states and their
ability to control outcomes (Keohane and Nye 1977 ).
Significantly, both state-centric and
state-as-actor assumptions have been undermined by what Keohane and
Nye refer to as transgovernmentalism. This denotes the
socialists and other trade unionists. In the Soviet zone of occupation, the
autonomy of these groups was perceived as potentially dangerous to the
claims of the Communists to be the ‘leading party’, and they
were swiftly disbanded by the Soviet authorities.
[See also: fascism]
The term in its literal sense means
hostility towards ‘Semites’: people from the Middle East defined
Such groups may polarise around language, race and religion.
‘Regional nationalism’ is
another sub-species of nationalism. It refers to a claim for regional
autonomy, which nevertheless stops short of outright independence. A good
example would be Catalan nationalism in Spain or the Northern League in
Italy. In practice regionalism and nationalism often converge because
this liberal, or simply modern, orientation to life, what balances the particularism of individual autonomy is the universality of our status as individuals. Recognising our common vulnerability and, for most contemporary renderings of this story on the basis of our individual but common autonomy, using the processes of our common reason, we join together in society. This universality may be more substantive, so that we share specific rights (to life, liberty and property) simply because we are all autonomous individuals. Or the nature of universality may be more
Between international relations and European studies
Ben Tonra and Thomas Christiansen
in the institutional arrangements based on the principle of unanimity.
Indeed, the very pillar structure of the EU treaties – separating the
‘Community pillar’ from the special regime that governs CFSP and
parts of Justice and Home Affairs – is a hallmark of an arrangement in
which member states have sought to minimise the role of supranational
institutions and preserve national autonomy.