European Forum at the Hebrew University Junior Visiting Fellow
(October 2009 – March 2010)
European Identity and the Function of Boredom
The problem of low civic engagement in the EU is often explained as a consequence of the Union’s highly complex, bureaucratized and detached institutional structure, technocratic staff, abstract iconography and faceless leaders, which render politics at the European level inaccessible to the broader public. In my project I am arguing that this problem, and much more which is essential and systematic to the European integration project, can be encapsulated in the notion of boredom. Boredom is essential for the constitution of the modern self, which is deprived of transcendental solace. What could a collective experience of boredom mean and how does it function in the constitution of postmodern society, which is deprived of the idols and ideologies of nationalism, authoritarianism and communism?