This month’s selection of new books reflects the complexity of EU multilevel governance, with essays on local government side-by-side with books on the ‘new’ notion of State power; we chose books that explore the idea of ‘constitutional identity’ and survey citizens’ attitudes towards the EU; books that question the “European dream” and books that ‘make the case’ for Europe. It includes:
Udo Diedrichs’, Wulf Reiners’ and Wolfgang Wessels’ ‘The Dynamics of Change in EU Governance’
After Lisbon, what changes have taken place in EU governance and which factors can be identified that account for such change? The authors follow a multi-disciplinary approach to describe the dynamics of EU governance. Departing from the widening/deepening debate on a changing European Union through EU enlargement as well as EU reform, the authors explain EU governance changes with an ‘integrative spiral’ driven by the interrelation between the legal and the living architecture of the EU. They also refer to soft law as a new mode of governance, their conclusion being that soft law might be an indicator of the strength and advanced stage of the European integration process and that stable societies can afford soft rules.
David Sanders’, Pedro Magalhaes’ and Gabor Toka’s ‘Citizens and the European Polity: Mass Attitudes Towards the European and National Polities’
In a moment in which the EU is facing an important number of social, economic, political and cultural challenges, public support is more than ever at stake. This books offers a review of the main trends in mass attitudes towards domestic politics and European integration from the 1970s until today. It also addresses factors that considerably influence public opinion: the lack of a sense of collective identity or EU citizenship, the lack of a Europe-wide structure for political accountability, and the lack of recognition of the EU as a legitimate political authority.
John McCormick’s ‘Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union’
A political analysis of Europe as a peacemaker, a marketplace, a democracy and a global player. The author challenges critics and sceptics who depict the European Union as undemocratic and unpopular, by outlining the benefits of European integration. The EU being created on the foundations of mutual understanding between peoples, the author states that periods of stagnation in the integration process are a normal part of a Europe united in diversity.
Download the complete list here.