Governance is a process where a government effectively exercises its constitutional authority and utilizes its resources adequately. The problems and affairs are collectively overseen by international organizations, government of countries and World organizations like; United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) respectively. In the course of governing the globe, all the super powers that participate in this process make and implement policies that are beneficial to its citizens, government or corporate organizations. These benefits are either political or financial. This essay will constructively criticize Kathleen McNamara’s article “constructing authority in the European Union” which tries to portray the EU as illegitimate and a taken for granted political entity. Furthermore, the essay will analyze the importance of the EU as a global governor and the dividends which Europeans enjoy through this respected and important organization. This article critique is intended to acquaint the reader with the writer’s perspective regarding globalization and the management of the globe in a globalized age. (McNamara, 154)
The European Union as a Global Governor
The European Union has by every legitimate means contributed immensely to the growth of both member states of the union and the entire globe.
The EU is regarded as one of the most powerful and successful political innovations in the world. It has 27 member states with its powerful presence recognized in a lot of political spheres. (McNamara, 153) Despite the EU’s reputation, writer Kathleen McNamara thinks otherwise. This brings to mind the question; what is McNamara’s perimeter for measuring success? Also important, one begins to wonder about McNamara’s source of information and how reliable or authentic these sources are. It is important to note that, there is no reliable and scholarly authority that supports McNamara’s argument and this implies that, the article “constructing authority in the European Union” is merely a personal opinion of McNamara. Regardless of the fact that every individual is entitled to his/her own opinion about any issue, McNamara’s argument about the EU could be termed as dogmatic.
A literal example of this could be seen in the argument about the EU’s passport. The ability of the EU to successfully establish a standardized passport is a milestone achievement and a bold step in the right direction. This step is already emulated by the African Union and this clearly shows that, the EU regardless of McNamara’s argument had done something useful and worth emulating.
(McNamara, 171) The EU has its significant presence in the world trade organization (WTO) and other formal international forums like the G-8. The world trade organization and the G-8 are reputable and formal international forums that have contributed a lot to the growth of the entire world through policy making. These forums consist of scholars, reputable politicians and intelligent policy makers from different nations around the world. If the EU was a taken for granted political entity as McNamara tries to describe it, serious minded international forums like the G-8 which has world powers like United States of America (USA), China and a host of other countries as members would not have recognized the EU presence in its forum. These examples show that the EU has clearly been a significant and seriously taken political entity not only in Europe but the entire world at large.
Criticizing Kathleen McNamara’s argument about the European Union (EU)
Kathleen McNamara’s arguments, opinions and interpretations of EU’s policies are definitely misplaced. The EU as an entity, does not function alone and policies of the EU are widely recognized and respected throughout the world which is an indication that the EU is not a taken for granted political entity. This renders all the arguments and sources of McNamara null and void.
In McNamara’s article “constructing authority in the European Union”; the writer tries to describe the EU as an illegitimate political entity since its legitimacy is contested by certain people. McNamara feels legitimate authority means achieving a significant level of acceptance without coercion. (McNamara, 153) But it is important for the reader to note at this point that, there is no single policy, law or decision, be it legitimate or not that is unanimously accepted by people. This means that, it is literally impossible for any organization to make decisions or policies that will be unanimously accepted by everybody involved. A lot of policies made in the past by other international organizations were also challenged or contested; the power and transparency of the United Nations has consistently been challenged too. But never in history has contesting the position of an organization been used as a yardstick to measure such an organization’s legitimacy. Therefore, using a group of people’s opinion as a yardstick to contest the EU’s legality is totally absurd. More so, since the inception of the EU, it has only experienced an increment in the number of its member states which stands currently at 27.
If the EU was coercive as McNamara tries to describe it, its membership would have decreased instead of steadily increasing. It is expected that McNamara would have taken into cognizance all this facts before concluding that the EU is illegitimate and coercive. (McNamara, 157) Another argument by McNamara which lacks substantial evidence to support the writer’s thesis is referring to the EU as an elite project without mass participation in decision making. McNamara ought to have known better but the writer prefers to lurk in the dark about the EU, obviously blinded by personal opinions. With 27 member states and making decisions and policies that affect over 200 million Europeans, the reference to the European Union an elite project is totally absurd and terrible.
Writer Kathleen McNamara obviously used unreliable sources with distorted facts and half truths to write the article “constructing authority in the European union”. The writer’s argument is dogmatic as aforementioned with no substantial evidence to support the argument. The article was more or less written from McNamara’s personal opinion and the article can therefore, be classified as a mere expression of the writer’s opinion. Issues like the EU passport had been embedded with the words “European Union” on it are trivial besides the AU also has its passport embedded with the words “African Union”. Furthermore, if the European Union decides to depart from the modern age model of political authority been tied closely to sovereign or territorial states and a new model works effectively for the EU, then McNamara has no reason to criticize such a decision.
(McNamara, 174) Considering the number of years that the EU has been in existence and it’s ever increasing membership; it can be logically concluded that the EU has solid significant cultural foundations that are important and significant to Europeans no matter what McNamara thinks.
McNamara, Kathleen. Constructing authority in European Union: Chicago: Regency, 2007. Print