Lecture: "Europe: An Institution without a Society?" with Mauro Magatti


Location: C103 Hesburgh Center

Mauro Magatti

What is a political space? Is it coincident with the nation state? If not, can there be an institution that is not grounded in society? Or, is a society something different from a nation? If so, is it possible for Europe to be a (civil) society without a state, creating a new experience of democratic citizenship? The future of Europe is hidden in its past: this talk explores what a genealogical approach to contemporary European issues can teach us.

Mauro Magatti (PhD, University of Kent, Canterbury), professor of sociology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, will spend part of the fall semester at the Kellogg Institute working on a joint project with Andrea Simoncini (a former Nanovic Institute visiting scholar): “Europe: An Institution without a Society?”

A leading Italian sociologist, Magatti has focused his research on the role of civil society in contemporary democracies, cultural and social change, and, most recently, the implications of globalization.

His Kellogg collaboration with Simoncini will examine the changes over time in the meaning of “civil society” in Europe, looking in particular on how it has evolved from a communally oriented to a more individualistic concept. Can some of the current problems of the European Union lie in its neglect in its constitutional politics and law of the older notion of civil society? Using a multidisciplinary approach, the pair will study the relationship between the multiple civil societies of Europe and the future of the EU’s institutional framework.

Since 2008 Magatti has been the director of the Centre for the Anthropology of Religion and Cultural Change (ARC), a collaborative project based at Catholic University, Heritage Foundation Gallup, Gallup Europe, and Cork University. He has also consulted for the EU, the European Science Foundation, the Italian Ministry of Education, and Italian Caritas, among others. In 2007 he was visiting professor at École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books as well as essays and articles in popular publications.

Sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.