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Veterans Welcome: Re-founders Preferred

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May 13th, 2010  |  Section: Editor's Note

A life long engagement to a political project is rare, and can be deemed illusory. The passing of time is implacable, and it condemns into the category of utopias all designs that – for whatever reason – have not come true in the time span that could be considered foreseeable when they were formulated. And, as it is well known, the foreseeable future is, in politics, quite short.

We all know some middle-aged persons who, in spite of the changes in the world society, and of their personal aging, have been unable to recognise their unrealised ideals for what they were – utopias –, and have thus condemned themselves to become just a “nostalgic”, or a veteran of some war, in which plenty of blood has been shed, only to be considered useless. Sometimes we even admire the tenacity they show in keeping alive the faith in which they have believed in their youth. But normally we deem their effort as worth a better cause, and most of the time their fanaticism frightens us. In any case we pity them, for burning what is left of their life at the dying flame that has lightened their days of passion.

In restarting, in 2006, the publication of a journal that professes to be “European”, we find ourselves in the obligation of posing a tough question: are we just veterans of a long war, that has in the end proved inconclusive? Are we fanatics of a noble ideal whose ambition we underestimated? Are we unable to see how the enthusiasm and the hopes have faded, from the time in which the Coal and Steel Community was launched? In one word, are we just idealists, unrepentant idealists deprived of political intuition?

We think that the readers of this new series’ first number will answer to this question. But, for what concerns ourselves, we have to give an explanation, not about the fact that we don’t believe the idea of a united Europe to be still valid, but most of all we must explain the reasons for which it looks inevitable to us to go back there in order to answer to the challenges that this new century will face, and that appear to us radically different from the ones of the previous century

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The European Journal of International Affairs, founded in 1988 by Prof. Giuseppe Sacco, is dedicated to shaping ideas and framing politics in order to give a European perspective in international affairs.

Published by the European Centre for International Affairs is a required reading for those who want to go beyond the headlines, and the conventional wisdom, of European vision in a rapidly-changing world.




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Pino Arlacchi, Samuel Brittan, Cornelius Castoriadis, Philip G. Cerny, George Corm, Ralf Dahrendorf, Etienne Davignon, Jean-Luc Domenach, François Fejtö, Joachim Fest, Pierre Hassner, Peter Hebblethwaite, Roy Jenkins, Josef Joffe, Arrigo Levi, Edward Luttwak, Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Jaques Rupnik, Ghassan Salamé, Alexander Smolar, Michael Stürmer, Marie-France Toinet, Rudolf von Thadden, Richard von Weizsäcker