Welcome again to our monthly selection of new books. In June, we received a batch of relevant works to feed reflection on social and political dynamics in the EU at the start of the new legislative term. Various representations of what Europe means to different actors are reflected for example in the book by Oriane Calligaro on ‘Europeanness’ and Gould and Messina’s notion of ‘contending identities’. On a more concrete level, other works which became available at the Library last month explore negotiation patterns in codecision and in multilateral settings, as in the book by Van Schaik.
Our selection this month also includes works taking a global perspective on international politics, the crisis, and ‘transnational democracy’, and works on various regional dimensions, spanning from Portugal through the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and the Basque Country.
Finally, after the European election campaign, the books by McPhail and by Dobek-Ostrowska/Garlicki may be an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the mechanics of global political communication in the era of new technologies.
Download the complete list with links to catalogue records here. Below a selection of abstracts.
Andrew Glencross’ ‘Politics of European integration : political union or a house divided?’
In this inter–disciplinary exploration of the politics of European integration, the author brings together the latest scholarly research from comparative politics, international relations, law, and democratic theory. He explains why the EU functions as it currently does, discusses proposals for institutional reform, analyses the euro crisis and its implications for the EU, and puts the EU in comparative perspective with other international organisations as well as federal states. Finally, he discusses the various options for uniting Europe: federalism, confederalism, the networked governance model and the differentiated integration model.
Oriane Calligaro’s ‘Negotiating Europe : EU promotion of europeanness since the 1950s’
In the context of the gradual emergence of a European identity, this essay explores the promotion of Europeanness, which aims to arouse feelings of belonging to the European Union. The author, a lecturer in European Studies at Maastricht University, concludes that there is a process of negotiation in which various entrepreneurs of Europeanness within and outside the EU institutions invent and communicate representations of Europe. She explains why a top-down approach cannot work and why there won’t be a homogenous interpretation of European identity.
Claudia Wiesner’s and Meike Schmidt-Gleim’s ‘The meanings of Europe : changes and exchanges of a contested concept’
This volume explores the multitude of factors that have influenced the concept of Europe and European identity, by analysing philosophical, historical, religious and political traditions. The conflicting understandings of the role of the European Union are embedded in these controversies around the meaning of Europe.
Tanja A. Börzel’s and Thomas Risse’s ‘From europeanisation to diffusion’
Are the EU’s attempts to transfer its policies and institutions to accession and neighbourhood countries sustainable and effective? To what degree do other regions of the world emulate the EU’s institutional features, what are the mechanisms of, and conditions for, their diffusion? Chapters deal with Europeanization in the new EU member states, particularly in Romania and Bulgaria, but also in current accession candidates, such as the Western Balkans and Turkey, as well as Israel, the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Andrew C. Gould’s and Anthony M. Messina’s ‘Europe’s contending identities : supranationalism, ethnoregionalism, religion, and new nationalism’
The founders of European integration promised ‘an ever closer union’. Nationalists respond that people should control their own destiny. This book investigates who could be winning the debate, by analysing the implications of the persistence of nationalisms and newer, ethnic-religious identities associated with immigrant, particularly Muslim immigrant, incorporation.
Simona Guerra’s ‘Central and Eastern European attitudes in the face of the Union’
Mapping perceptions of Europeans towards the EU from the outside before their accession and from the inside following their integration provides a crucial barometer for political scientists to understand the popularity and levels of satisfaction with the EU amongst the European population at large. By drawing together existing research frameworks on attitudes towards the EU and testing them in the context of Central Eastern Europe, Guerra’s study makes an original contribution to a fundamental debate for European politics – what moves people to vote on European integration? This theoretical issue is of major practical importance especially in the context of the European Parliament elections. The author combines analyses of pre- and post-accession determinants of such attitudes with an in-depth qualitative analysis of citizens’ perceptions of the EU, with special focus on the importance of (a lack of) information on European affairs.
Dan Stone’s ‘Goodbye to all that? : the story of Europe since 1945’
The decades which followed 1945 were in many ways golden years for western Europe. The European Economic Community was founded and went from strength to strength, as the economies of western Europe bounced back from the devastation of the war. As the author argues, the oil shocks of the 1970s, globalization, deregulation, and the erosion of social-democratic welfare capitalism in the West, and the collapse of the purported Communist alternative in the East, have all undermined the post-war anti-fascist value system that predominated across Europe. This has been accompanied by a rise in right-wing populism and a widespread revision of the anti-fascist narrative on which this value system was based. The result, as Dan Stone warns, is socially divisive, politically dangerous, and a genuine threat to the future of a civilized Europe. He concludes with a rather gloomy hypothesis regarding Europe’s future and the potential return of fascism, in the context of a potential era of politics of revenge.
Anne Rasmussen’s, Charlotte Burns’ and Christine Reh’s ‘Legislative codecision in the European Union : experience over twenty years and implications’
This volume takes stock of twenty years of practising and studying codecision in the European Union and examines the procedure’s long-term implications for the EU’s institutions, politics and policies. It draws together contributions from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives in order to analyse the extent to which codecision has fulfilled its promise of a more transparent, inclusive and accountable policy-making and to review the unexpected effects that have followed from its introduction, such as the growing informalisation of EU decision-making.
Louise G. van Schaik’s ‘EU effectiveness and unity in multilateral negotiations : more than the sum of its parts?’
This book challenges the assumption that more unity will automatically lead to increased negotiating power. By analysing EU effectiveness in multilateral negotiations on food standards, climate change and public health, it explores the degree of preference homogeneity among the EU member states and the extent to which those involved are working on the basis of a single European voice.