Transnationalism vs. Nationalism: The Case of the Right to Free Movement


  • Theresa Scavenius



The European Union is currently challenged by right-wing populism and economic stress. To understand the nature of these challenges, we need to take an interdisciplinary approach in which empirical studies of politics are combined with studies of the normative implications of European policy-making. To this end, I draw attention to the right to free movement, which is pivotal both for European politics and liberal political philosophy. I show that even though transnational rights, such as the free movement for people, products and money, are normatively sound and desirable, enhancement of free movement may challenge the heterogeneity among the national models of rights and societal commitments. The risk is that the national institutions as a political arena face difficulties in coping with current political challenges such as right-wing radicalism, social inequality, environmental regulation, immigration and financial insecurity. On the other hand, I argue that we should be aware that the transnational rights might in some countries enhance human rights, which national parliaments have not been able to accommodate.




Research Notes