Roberto Mangabeira Unger

The Progressive Alternative in a European Context

The first text below is an agenda I prepared for a meeting on the constitution of the European Union that was held at Harvard University in March 2002. Although it is a mere sketch, I place it here because it suggests a way of thinking about how European social democracy can be reinvented rather than hollowed out in this period of globalization and European integration. The relation between the commitment to develop the European difference and the effort to inspire differences within Europe — democracy as a machine for the production of distinction and novelty — is the overriding theme.

The second text, “Spain and its Future,” written late in 2001 for a Spanish newspaper, provides an example of how I imagine beginning a progressive programmatic argument today in a particular European national setting. An English translation is in progress.