I am currently working on a pair of book manuscripts based on my dissertation. The first examines how memories of war on the continent acted as cognitive, motivational and justificatory resources for postwar integration. I argue that the fading of these memories has undermined Europe’s normative foundations, resulting in the increasing economization of the EU. The second manuscript examines the role of public intellectuals in modern, democratic societies, focusing on the responses of important thinkers to the development of the EU.
Dissertation: “A New Beginning for Europe: Memory, Rupture and Integration in the Wake of Total War” (Yale University, 2013).
Committee: Seyla Benhabib (Chair), Bryan Garsten, Adam Tooze (History).
ABSTRACT The memories of 1914-45 played a crucial role in the origins of the European Union (EU). Building on twentieth-century political thought, I argue that these events created a rift in European narratives of the past. I document how the past provided postwar leaders such as Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet with the cognitive, motivational and justificatory resources to rethink the continent’s political foundations. In light of the Eurozone crisis, I argue that that the passing of the generation of memory has undermined Europe’s foundations by depriving the current cohort of Europeans of the normative imperatives necessary to think of the EU as more than just an economic union.