‘An uplifting tale of europe’. Jacques delors and the contradictory quest for a european social model in the age of reagan

Alessandra Bitumi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Based on the personal papers of Jacques Delors, this article discusses the origins and significance of Delors’s ambition to provide a renewed and updated form of socially embedded capitalism, within the framework of the Atlantic Community in the 1980s. Engaging in a political and intellectual battle against ‘Reaganism’, the President of the European Commission tried to draw the boundaries of Europe’s alleged distinctiveness, turning this imagined Europe into a project for the future. The article reveals how the ‘Social nature’ of Europe, ubiquitously and conveniently opposed to the neoliberal character of US capitalism, has been the pillar of a long popular exceptionalist narrative that became hegemonic, in the EU and progressively worldwide, in the ‘age of Delors’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Transatlantic Studies
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Europe social model
  • European integration
  • Jacques Delors
  • Narratives
  • Reaganism

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