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European Disintegration?

The Politics of Crisis in the European Union


Red Globe Press

Pages: 278

The European Union Series



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Paperback - 9781137529466

20 November 2018


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Hardcover - 9781137529473

20 November 2018


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Ebook - 9781137529480

20 November 2018


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This new book provides a comprehensive analysis of Europe on the brink of political disintegration. Observers of the European Union (EU) could be forgiven for thinking that it is in a state of permanent crisis. The Union has...

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This new book provides a comprehensive analysis of Europe on the brink of political disintegration. Observers of the European Union (EU) could be forgiven for thinking that it is in a state of permanent crisis. The Union has been beset with high levels of Eurozone debt, Russian intervention and armed conflict in Ukraine, refugees fleeing conflict zones in North Africa and the Middle East, and the decision of Britain to leave the European Union. This text offers a concise and readable assessment of the dynamics, character and consequences of these four crises and the increasingly real possibility of European disintegration. 

High levels of socio-economic interdependence and institutionalization have failed to result in an ever closer union, and yet the proposed theories of disintegration also fall short. Webber instead shows that it is only by looking at the role of the EU’s dominant member, Germany, in each crisis that the potential for an increasingly fragmented Europe becomes clear. Until now, Germany has been the EU’s stabilizing force but this is no longer guaranteed. The fate of the integration process will depend on whether other, more inclusive forms of stabilizing leadership may emerge to fill the vacuum created by Berlin’s incapacity.

This text is the ideal companion for upper undergraduate and postgraduate students of the European Union, as part of degrees in Politics, International Relations or European Studies, or for anyone interested in the crises of the European Union.

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  • A path-finding exploration of European disintegration
  • The first systematic account of this increasingly discussed aspect of the European project
  • Written by a leading expert in the field
  • Exhaustive use of primary empirical sources to support the analysis

1. Is This Time Different?.- 2. Explaining European Integration and Disintegration.- 3. The Eurozone Crisis.- 4. The Ukraine Crisis.- 5. The Schengen and Refugee Crisis.- 6. The Brexit Crisis.- 7. Conclusions.- 

Very impressive, combining impressive empirical research with a dazzling command of the scholarly literature. It made realize how little I previously knew about the EU. A very strong, original contribution that fully deserves all the praise it has received to date – David J. Vogel, University of California, Berkley
This book is a major contribution to the field of European studies. It is a deeply informed and immensely rich analysis of the multiple crises that have beset the European Union and their effects on its institutional stability. Douglas Webber has written one of the most thoughtful books on the subject to have appeared in the past decade. Its recognition of the possibilities for disintegration is a breath of fresh air in the study of Europe. – Gary Marks, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
This is a great book. It is extremely well-written and a pleasure to read. It is well-researched and -documented. It addresses very important issues. Very importantly, it also analyses the historical antecedents of the current crises. It will have great public as well as academic appeal … I second its sceptical conclusions … – Fritz Scharpf, Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne
This is a real contribution, which starts to fill a serious gap in the literature on the EU and European integration. Why did something like this not come sooner? It is also really well-written and inspiring to read. – Ulrich Krotz, Professor of International Relations, European University Institute, Florence
This is truly a great book, highly accessible, well-researched and very elegantly formulated. I learned a lot from it. It will be used all over Europe. I expect it to be very successful in the market. – Gerda Falkner, Professor of Political Science, University of Vienna.
This fascinating and well-written book couldn’t be timelier. Well organized, thorough, and filled with historical facts, it explores the Eurozone, Ukraine, Refugee and Brexit Crises and their political and economic roots. It is an essential reference for everyone with an interest in the crisis politics in the European Union – Professor John Ryan, London School of Economics, UK
The core conclusion of Webber’s analysis of the crises roiling the EU is that it may well fail to survive them if the pan-European commitments of Germany - its ‘reluctant hegemon’ - should falter. His is an argument that deserves our closest attention. – Professor Martin Rhodes, University of Denver, USA
A timely and necessary contribution to the existing literature on European integration … it fills an obvious gap in the literature that has not often been addressed by scholars. The book is a must-read for any and all in the field of European studies, providing a unique and novel approach to a well-established field. – Louise Wylie, Journal of Common Market Studies
Webber has written a carefully structured, meticulously researched book, which will be invaluable to those interested in the recent history of the EU. – Stuart Parkes, Journal of Contemporary European Union Studies
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Douglas Webber is Professor of Political Science at INSEAD, France

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Douglas Webber is Professor of Political Science at INSEAD, France

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