Consider the following two political desires:
1. A desire for national self-determination, self-government, autonomy, independence, and sovereignty
2. A desire for union with other nations, and the at least partial sacrifice of all the above that this would entail.
It can be hard to imagine at first glance why one might affirm the second if one has already achieved the first; in fact, especially if one has achieved the first. So where does the second political desire come from? What sort of motivation could it possibly have for a sovereign nation-state? Taking the European Union and its member-states as my example, this talk will explore the reasons why "ever closer union among the people of Europe" might be a political desire worth having.
Simon Glendinning is Professor of European Philosophy in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 2007 he has been trying to work out what. if anything, philosophy can contribute to our understanding of Europe, its unity and disunity, its integration and its disintegration. He is currently half-way through writing a two-volume book on European identity, entitled "Europe's Promise".