unisa ITA  unisa ENG



Working Papers CSE Anno 2020


Durkheim, l'‘Europa' e la Brexit


David Inglis



When the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked what he thought were the main consequences of the French Revolution, he is alleged to have replied that it was too early to tell. The same response may be given today as to what the eventual ramifications of Brexit will be. It will take many decades for these to play out, both for the UK, for the EU and the wider world. Yet consideration of some strands of Émile Durkheim's sociology - reading these either in the manner Durkheim intended, or somewhat against the grain - allow us to look forward in time and make some plausible predictions. This essay considers what the ideas of one of the most major classical sociologists, Émile Durkheim, can illuminate about both Brexit and the entity that the United Kingdom is leaving, the European Union. I will attempt to show that the phenomena which Durkheim pointed to in terms of the emergence of pan-European social integration - in other words, what he said about Europe as a single social and cultural entity - can be used to identify some elements of Brexit, which might otherwise not be as apparent or as precisely identifiable as they would be without a Durkheimian thematization of them.



Durkheim; Europa; Brexit; Solidarietà; Neoliberismo.


Full Text: pdf




Andreouli, E., Kaposi, D. e Stenner, P. (2019). ‘Brexit and Emergent Politics: In Search of a Social Psychology', Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 29(1): 6-17.
Appiah, K.A. (1996). ‘Cosmopolitan Patriots' in Cohen, J. (ed.) For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism, Cambridge: Beacon, pp. 21-29.
Banakar, R. (2019). ‘Brexit: A Note on the EU's Interlegality', in Lemann Kristiansen, B. et al. (eds.) Transnationalisation and Legal Actors: Legitimacy in Question, London: Routledge.
Barkdull, J. (1995). ‘Waltz, Durkheim, and International Relations', American Political Science Review, 89(3): 669-680.
Bell, D. (1980). ‘The Return of the Sacred? The Argument on the Future of Religion', Sociological Journeys: Essays 1960-1980, London: Heinemann.
Brown, W. (2003). ‘Neoliberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy', Theory and Event, 7(1).
Burgi, N. (2014). ‘Societies Without Citizens: The Anomic Impacts of Labor Market Restructuring and the Erosion of Social Rights in Europe', European Journal of Social Theory, 17(3): 290-306.
Connell, R.W. (2007). Southern Theory, Cambridge: Polity.
Dahms, H.F. (2017). ‘Critical Theory, Brexit and the Vicissitudes of Political Economy in the Twenty First Century', in Outhwaite, W. (ed.) Brexit: Sociological Responses, London: Anthem.
Damro, C. (2012). ‘Market Power Europe', Journal of European Public Policy, 19(5): 682-699.
Durkheim, É. (1915). ‘La Germania al di sopra di tutto'. Il pensiero tedesco e la guerra, Paris: Armand Colin.
Durkheim, É. (1999 [19022]). La Divisione del lavoro sociale, Edizioni di Comunità, Torino.
Durkheim, É. (2013 [1912]). Le Forme Elementari della vita religiosa. Il Sistema totemico in Australia, M. Rosati (a cura di), Milano-Udine, Mimesis.
Durkheim, É. (2016 [1950]). Lezioni di Sociologia. Per una società politica giusta, F. Callegaro, N. Marcucci (a cura di), Napoli-Salerno: Orthotes.
Durkheim, É. e Mauss, M. (1998 [1913]). ‘Note on the Notion of Civilization', in Rundell, J. and Mennell, S. (eds.) Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, London: Routledge, pp. 151-154.
Eriksen, E.O. (2006). ‘The EU - A Cosmopolitan Polity?', Journal of European Public Policy, 13(2): 252-269.
Ferrier, J. (2011). Visions of the Social: Society as a Political Project in France, 1750-1950, Leiden: Brill.
Foucault, M. (2012 [2004]). Nascita della biopolitica. Corso al Collège de France (1978-1979), Milano: Feltrinelli.
Fustel de Coulanges, N.S-D. (1972 [1864]). La città antica, Firenze: Sansoni.
Gellner, E. (1987). Culture, Identity and Politics, Cambridge: CUP.
Giddens, A. (1971). Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, Cambridge: CUP
Gouldner, A.W. (1965). Enter Plato: Classical Greece and the Origins of Social Theory, New York: Basic Books.
Habermas, J. (1999). La costellazione postnazionale. Mercato globale, nazioni e democrazia, Milano: Feltrinelli.
Hooghe, L. and Marks, G. (2009). ‘A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining Dissensus', British Journal of Political Science, 39(1): 1-23.
Inglis, D. (2011). ‘A Durkheimian Account of Globalization: The Construction of Global Moral Culture', Durkheimian Studies, 17(1): 103-120.
Inglis, D. (2012). ‘Cosmopolitanism's Sociology and Sociology's Cosmopolitanism: Retelling the History of Cosmopolitan Theory from Stoicism to Durkheim and Beyond', Distinktion, 15(1): 69-87.
Inglis, D. e Robertson, R. (2008). ‘The Elementary Forms of Globality: Durkheim and the Emergence and Nature of Global Life', Journal of Classical Sociology, 8(1): 5-25.
Jones, R. A. (1977). ‘On Understanding a Sociological Classic', American Journal of Sociology, 83(2): 279-319.
Karageorgiou, E. (2016). ‘Solidarity in European Asylum Policies: Response to a Problem or Part of It?', openDemocracy, 29th September, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/solidarity-in-european-asylum-policies-response-to/.
Levitas, R. (1996). ‘The Concept of Social Exclusion and the New Durkheimian Hegemony', Critical Social Policy, 18(46): 5-20.
Lord, C. (2015). ‘Utopia or Dystopia? Towards a Normative Analysis of Differentiated Integration', Journal of European Public Policy, 22(6): 783-98.
Lukes, S. (1973). Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work. A Historical and Critical Survey, London: Allen Lane.
Mestrovic, S. (1989). ‘Durkheim's Concept of Anomie Considered as a "Total" Social Fact', British Journal of Sociology, 38(4): 567-583.
O'Rourke, K. (2018). A Short History of Brexit, London: Pelican.
Parker, O. (2009). ‘"Cosmopolitan Europe" and the EU-Turkey Question: The Politics of a "Common Destiny"', Journal of European Public Policy, 16(7): 1085-1101.
Parker, O. e Rosamond, B. (2013). ‘"Normative Power Europe" Meets Economic Liberalism: Complicating Cosmopolitanism Inside/Outside the EU', Cooperation and Conflict, 48(2): 229-246.
Parsons, T. (1954). Essays in Sociological Theory, Glencoe: Free Press.
Pickering, W.S.F. (1984). Durkheim's Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories, London: Routledge.
Ponzanesi, S. e Blaagaard, B. (2011). ‘Introduction - In the Name of Europe', Social Identities, 17(1): 1-10.
Roche, M. (2001). ‘Citizenship, Popular Culture, and Europe', in Stevenson, N. (ed.), Culture and Citizenship, London: Sage, pp. 74-98.
Sangiovanni, A. (2015). ‘Solidarity in the European Union', Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 33: 213-41.
Saurugger, S. (2013). Theoretical Approaches to European Integration, London: Red Globe Press.
Schimmelfennig, F. et al. (2015). ‘The European Union as a System of Differentiated Integration', Journal of European Public Policy, 22(6): 764-782.
Smith, B. (2019). ‘The Religion of Liberal Democracy', Tablet, November 15th, 2019, Disponibile a: https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/293686/ the-religion-of-liberal-democracy.
Sohrabi, H. (2019). ‘A Durkheimian Critique of Contemporary Multiculturalism', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(8): 1283-1304.
Stevenson, N. (2005). ‘European Cosmopolitanism and Civil Society: Questions of Culture, Identity and Citizenship', Innovation, 18(1): 45-59.
Sztompka, P. (1993). The Sociology of Social Change, Oxford: Blackwell.
Turner. B.S. (2006). ‘Classical Sociology and Cosmopolitanism: A Critical Defence of the Social', British Journal of Sociology, 57(1): 133-151.
Wachinger, M. (2018). ‘EU Solidarity between Social Cohesion and Active Commitment', EU Visions, Disponibile a: http://www.euvisions.eu/eu-solidarity-between-social-cohesion-and-active-commitment/
Wiener, A. et al. (2018). European Integration Theory, Oxford: Oxford UP.
Wieviorka, M. (2012). ‘A Critique of Europe', New Literary History, 43(4): 687-702.
Zhang, C. e Lillie, N. (2015). ‘Industrial Citizenship, Cosmopolitanism and European Integration', European Journal of Social Theory, 18(1): 93-111.