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IndividualismAn Essay on the Authority of the European Union$
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Alexander Somek

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542086

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542086.001.0001

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The Inexpensive Caring State

The Inexpensive Caring State

(p.245) 12 The Inexpensive Caring State

Alexander Somek (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes up individualism's core claim to authority, namely, its appeal to the self's interest. What this claim means is less obvious when the Union promises bounties, as in the case of European citizenship, than in cases where the pursuit of self-interest involves sacrifice. Arguably, an appeal to self-interest is essentially about the future remuneration that comes from forgoing pleasure. Pursuing one's self-interest, thus understood, requires rational conduct. In order not merely to think, but also to behave rationally, people have to have a certain soul. The unhappiness involved in sacrifice needs to be sustainable. The chapter explores the hidden link between this citizen's soul and the emergence of Union policies where the Union is cast as an inexpensive, neoliberal, caring state.

Keywords:   self-interest, sacrifice, discipline, neo-liberalism, citizenship, governmentality

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