Europe’s experimental union: rethinking integration

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Publication Date 1999
ISBN 0-415-10260-X (Hbk); 0-415-10261-8 (Pbk)
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Europe's Experimental Union brings a multidisciplinary perspective to bear on the very topical issue of integration. Uniting political, sociological and economic viewpoints, it moves beyond the sterile 'either/or' debates on the nature of integration in conventional analyses. The authors construct a threefold analytical framework based on the recognition of the European Union's inter-connectedness and contingency; the complex relationship between territory, identity and function; and a sensitivity to the ties and tensions emerging in the process of integration itself. They identify four key ties and tensions: between states and markets; between the EU as a polity and a problem solving arena; between different levels of policy-making; and between the EU universe and its wider global environment.

The second part of the book has been designed to explore the different ties and tensions that fashion integration itself. The authors conclude with a characterisation of the EU as a distinctive model of internationalisation. Whilst at first sight, 'unsettled Europe' appears as a weakness of capacity, confusion and ambiguity of form and function, in fact the EU is more settled and robust than conventional writings assume. This book asserts that it is precisely due to its experimental nature that the EU is able to respond to multiple agendas and Europe's diversity in a flexible way. The authors reveal the EU as a harbinger of trends in political and economic order, locked in between modernity and postmodernity.
After an introduction, Part 1 explores European states and nations; world politics; and international political economy. Part 2 looks at governance; the market; money; and the international role of the European Union. The book concludes by discussing a new model of internationalisation.

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