Book Talk: The Politics of Everyday Europe

On September 9th, 2015, Mortara Director Kathleen McNamara discussed her book The Politics of Everyday Europe: Constructing Authority in the European Union, which analyzes the role of symbols and practices in the legitimization of the European Union project. In her presentation, McNamara challenged the way we think about the EU as a mundane sphere of technocrats and regulations, highlighting instead the historical innovation of this novel political form. She focused on how specific symbols and practices of daily life in Europe helps render the European Union legible, while reinforcing its powers by creating a sense of naturalness and inevitability.  Yet she warned that the particular way in which the EU has constructed itself limits its legitimacy and creates real political fragility in the face of the recent Euro and refugee crises.