Winner of the 2014 European Book Prize. A "United States of Europe", Winston Churchill proposed in 1946, could "as if by a miracle transform" that "turbulent and mighty continent". "In this way only", he continued, "will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living". Today, nearly seventy years later, over 500 million people live in the member states of the European Union – a greater number than in any other political community save for China and India. The currency of the Union, the euro, is used in economic transactions world-wide. Yet the EU is mired in the greatest crisis of its history, one that threatens its very existence as an entity able to have an impact upon world affairs. Europe no longer seems so mighty, instead but faces the threat of becoming an irrelevant backwater or, worse, once again the scene of turbulent conflicts. Divisions are arising all over Europe, while the popularity of the Union sinks. How can this situation be turned around? Now published as a revised and updated paperback that takes account of the May 2014 elections to the European Parliament, Turbulent and Mighty Continent makes a powerful case for a far-reaching and fundamental renewal of the European project as a whole.
The European Union has gone through a crucial period marked by growing anti-EU sentiments and the difficult implementation of its largely renewed socio-economic governance. After years of in-depth innovations and the hope of reinvigorating the E(M)U social dimension, European institutions have engaged in a lively debate on how to exit the recession and relaunch the integration project. While most Member States have continued to pursue punitive austerity programmes – at a time when 27 million Europeans are unemployed and a quarter of the EU population is at risk of poverty – most stakeholders (namely the trade union movement) and policymakers agree on the need for an EU-driven growth strategy. This 2013 edition of Social developments in the European Union provides key insights from analysts and scholars. Through the critical assessment of the EU economic governance of the last few years, contributors have set guidelines for a reinforced EU social protection and investment plan. The proposals for a pan-European unemployment insurance scheme and an EU minimum income scheme are analysed together with a renewed focus on the gender dimension of European social policies. Beyond economic and social governance, this volume critically reviews national reforms of labour market policies. While the state of the European economy is still gloomy, the institutional and policy reforms proposed here represent an opportunity to unveil a new path for Europe.
As Europe rebuilt after the devastation of the Second World War, the former colonies of the major imperial powers sought their independence at the same time that the United States extended its economic and political power globally. In Turbulent Empires Mike Mason analyzes the struggles for post-colonial sovereignty and economic domination and how these competing forces led to conflicts and shifting alliances around the postwar world. Turbulent Empires surveys the major polities and economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia, and the West and traces the trajectory of nationalist ruling classes bent on exercising sovereign control over economic resources. It emphasizes the convulsions that brought about unanticipated realignments and shocking reversals, such as the rise and fall of regimes, continuous interventions in the Muslim world, the sudden collapse of the commodities supercycle, and the continuing challenge of inequality. By the second decade of the twenty-first century, the global economic crisis of 2008 raised the question of a new global order while the question of American decline, captured in the slogan "Make America Great Again,” became commonplace. Both erudite and accessibly written, Turbulent Empires provides an insightful and sweeping analysis of world political and economic history that is an ideal introduction to postwar political science, history, and development studies.
Issues concerning globalisation, protection of identity and resistance to change at the national level (e.g., Brexit) have been the cause of much public and scholarly debate. With this in mind, this book demonstrates how these national, and indeed global narratives, have impacted on and are influenced by ‘going-ons’ in local contexts. By situating these national narratives within a rural context, Kerrigan expertly explores, through ethnographic research, how similar consequences of informal social control and exclusion are maintained in rural England in order to protect rural identity from social and infrastructural change. Drawing on observation, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, ‘A Threatened Rural Idyll’ illustrates how residents from a small but developing rural town in the South of England perceived changes associated with globalisation, such as population growth, inappropriate building developments, and the influx of service industries. For many of the residents, particularly those of middle-class status and long-standing in the town, these changes were seen as a direct threat to the rural character of the town. The investigation highlights how community dynamics and socio-spatial organisation of daily life work to protect the rural traditions inherent in the social and spatial landscape of the town and to maintain the dominance of its largely white, middle-class character. As a result, Kerrigan contends that the resistance to change has the consequence of constructing a social identity that attempts to reinforce the notions of a rural idyll to the exclusion of processes and people seen as representing different values and ideals.
The concealment of income, wealth and profits in tax havens has brought the topic of offshoring into public debate, but as John Urry shows in this important new book offshoring is a much more pervasive feature of contemporary societies. These often secretive activities offshore also involve relations of work, finance, pleasure, waste, energy and security. Powerful and pervasive offshore worlds have been generated, posing huge challenges both for governments and for citizens. This book documents the various patterns of offshoring Ð of the economy, sociability, politics and the environment. In each case, offshoring generates new patterns of power, reduces the responsibilities of the powerful 'offshore class', and limits the conditions for democratic governance. Offshore, out of sight, over the horizon are some of the troubling processes and metaphors by which much life has been rendered opaque and dependent upon secrets and lies. By analysing these patterns and processes, Urry sheds fresh light on the hidden worlds of offshoring and exposes the dark side of globalization. The book concludes by considering whether offshoring can be reversed Ð whether it is possible to bring about the systematic ‘reshoring’ of relations that would be good for democracy and for developing low-carbon futures. Urry portrays the coming century as being poised between even more extreme offshoring and various endeavours to bring back 'home' that which has currently escaped 'over the horizon'.
The author is presenting a broadly structured study about the first fifty years of European integration, its geopolitical context and academic reflection. His study is based on the two-fold thesis that since a few years, the European Union is going through a process of its Second Founding while simultaneously changing its rationale.