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Title: European Union and the economy of the gift
Authors: Kentrotis, Kyriakos
Akrivoulis, Dimitrios E.
Type: Article
Subjects: FRASCATI::Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: EPLO
Source: European Politeia
Issue: 2
First Page: 319
Last Page: 344
Abstract: The paper offers two parallel reflections upon the contemporary European predicament through the concept of the gift. First, the paper focuses on the existing critique drawing from ‘moral economy’ theories, according to which the European project has abandoned its own idealized ‘gift economy’, that is, its founding principles of solidarity and equality, in favor of an immoral market economy. This emphasis on the ‘immoral’ functions of market economy prevents us from recognizing that its basic principles and values have themselves become the organizing moral basis of contemporary European society. The key problem here is that all those values now associated with the EU - even those that the theories of moral economy would have recognized as ‘moral’ - are now conceptualized in a manner pursuant to neoliberal capitalism. Second, the paper offers an alternative narrative of the historical development of European integration, through four successive stories marked by distinct arrangements in the virtuous-circle relation between the gift and the expectation of a gift in return, read as doron-antidoron. Read in parallel with the historical development of neoliberal capitalism, the progress of European integration is thus represented as embedded in a series of choices between gratuity-charity for the plenty and profit-making for the few, never abandoning a European ‘gift economy’, which has fundamentally been an economy of exchange.
ISSN: 2409-5621
Electronic ISSN: 2412-8120
Appears in Collections:Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies

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