Many-Europes and the problem of power

Michael M Loriaux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The rival of many-Europes' is a super-power Europe that reprises but redefines core concepts-peuple, frontier, sovereignty and national power-that many-Europes contests. At the heart of this rivalry is the problem of power. Efforts to define a specifically European style of power, as civilian, tranquil, or normative, would seem to cater to the post-national Europe that many-Europes advocates. But the word 'power' is haunted by the signifying trace of threatening performance and by the undecidability that this performance engenders. This trace of performative threat endows the word 'power' with aesthetic effect and causes it to co-exist in conceptual tension with the adjectives (civilian, tranquil, normative and others) that are supposed to domesticate it. I suggest that many-Europes represent itself to the world as an anti-power, and explore the writings of Patocka and Levinas to give this concept definition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-434
Number of pages18
JournalComparative European Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Derrida
  • Europe
  • Gadamer
  • Levinas
  • Patocka
  • power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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