The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe (The Public Square)

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9780691141596: The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe (The Public Square)
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Has Europe's extraordinary postwar recovery limped to an end? It would seem so. The United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, and former Soviet Bloc countries have experienced ethnic or religious disturbances, sometimes violent. Greece, Ireland, and Spain are menaced by financial crises. And the euro is in trouble. In The End of the West, David Marquand, a former member of the British Parliament, argues that Europe's problems stem from outdated perceptions of global power, and calls for a drastic change in European governance to halt the continent's slide into irrelevance. Taking a searching look at the continent's governing institutions, history, and current challenges, Marquand offers a disturbing diagnosis of Europe's ills to point the way toward a better future.

Exploring the baffling contrast between postwar success and current failures, Marquand examines the rebirth of ethnic communities from Catalonia to Flanders, the rise of xenophobic populism, the democratic deficit that stymies EU governance, and the thorny questions of where Europe's borders end and what it means to be European. Marquand contends that as China, India, and other nations rise, Europe must abandon ancient notions of an enlightened West and a backward East. He calls for Europe's leaders and citizens to confront the painful issues of ethnicity, integration, and economic cohesion, and to build a democratic and federal structure.

A wake-up call to those who cling to ideas of a triumphalist Europe, The End of the West shows that the continent must draw on all its reserves of intellectual and political creativity to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world, where the very language of "East" and "West" has been emptied of meaning.

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"Positive criticism is always the best criticism. David Marquand's compact but impressively broad-ranging analysis is built on a lifetime of pro-European advocacy. Yet his book displays many deep concerns about the flaws and failings of today's European Union as it ambles complacently toward an uncertain future. Essential reading for all who wish Europe well."--Norman Davies, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford

"David Marquand's brilliant, compact book is essential reading for everyone interested in the strategic outlook for Europe in the emerging new constellation of global powers. And I mean 'everyone'--students, scholars, journalists, business leaders, politicians, and civil servants, in the lands of the old West and new East. With erudition and a light, readable touch, this remarkable book ranges across vast historical and contemporary political horizons."--Michael Emerson, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

"This exceptionally readable book combines wide, practical political experience with intellectual breadth, and does an excellent job of drawing together the big historical themes that surround the birth, development, and travails of the European Union. Marquand succeeds admirably in showing where Europe might be headed."--David Runciman, author ofPolitical Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond

About the Author:

David Marquand has been a member of the British Parliament, an official of the European Commission, and principal of Mansfield College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the author of many books, including Britain since 1918.

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