CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In this article, the universalist economic model of Homo economicus posited by currently dominant economic theory is seen as making sense mainly within the individualist Anglo-American mental, juridical, and ethical universe. The present crisis of the euro can therefore be understood as the outcome of a mismatch between, on the one hand, the attempt to institutionalize this Anglo-American mental universe in the European Union (EU), and on the other, the European imaginaries thus instituted and embedded in a world of meanings radically different and more holistic. In section 2, we base this interpretation on the hypothesis that the origin of the present European crisis is not to be found in what would be the ordo-liberalism of the German elites but in the pervasiveness in European institutions of the Chicago style of neoliberalism as a result of financial globalization. In section 3, we briefly present the theoretical framework in which the concepts of money, debt, sovereignty, and trust are defined. Then in section 4, these concepts are mobilized to interpret the euro crisis. Finally in section 5, the consequences of this interpretation are drawn in order to envision some ways out of the crisis by strengthening the euro through the recasting of the European federal project.


  • money
  • debt
  • federalism
  • European Union
  • neoliberalism
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