Durkheim, l’‘Europa’ e la Brexit
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When the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked what he thought were the main consequences of the French Revolution, he is alleged to have replied that it was too early to tell. The same response may be given today as to what the eventual ramifications of Brexit will be. It will take many decades for these to play out, both for the UK, for the EU and the wider world. Yet consideration of some strands of Émile Durkheim’s sociology - reading these either in the man-ner Durkheim intended, or somewhat against the grain - allow us to look for-ward in time and make some plausible predictions. This essay considers what the ideas of one of the most major classical sociologists, Émile Durkheim, can illuminate about both Brexit and the entity that the United Kingdom is leaving, the European Union. I will attempt to show that the phenomena which Durk-heim pointed to in terms of the emergence of pan-European social integration - in other words, what he said about Europe as a single social and cultural entity - can be used to identify some elements of Brexit, which might otherwise not be as apparent or as precisely identifiable as they would be without a Durkheimian thematization of them.