The financial crisis that erupted on both sides of the Atlantic in 2007–8
initially seemed to offer new political and economic opportunities to the left.
As financial institutions collapsed, traditional left-wing issues were
apparently back on the agenda. There was the prospect of a return to a more
regulated economy, there was widespread state intervention to try to salvage
failing banks, and it led to increased scrutiny of the wages and bonuses at the
upper end of the scale. However, instead of being a trigger for a resurgence of
the left, and despite a surge of support for new parties like SYRIZA and
Podemos, in many European countries left-wing parties have suffered electoral
defeat. At the same time, the crisis has led to austerity programmes being
implemented across Europe, causing further erosion of the welfare state and
pushing many into poverty. This timely book examines this crucial period for the
left in Europe from a number of perspectives and addresses key questions
including: How did political parties from the left respond to the crisis both
programmatically and politically? What does the crisis mean for the relationship
between the left and European integration? What does the crisis mean for
socialism as an economic, political and social project? This collection focuses
on a comparison between ten EU member states, and considers a range of different
party families of the left, from social democracy through green left to radical
This substantially updated and revised edition offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges confronting the political system as well as the international politics of the European Union. It draws from a spectrum of regional integration theories to determine what the Union actually is and how it is developing, examining the constitutional politics of the European Union, from the Single European Act to the Treaty of Nice and beyond. The ongoing debate on the future of Europe links together the questions of democracy and legitimacy, competences and rights, and the prospects for European polity-building. The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the emerging European polity and the questions that further treaty reform generates for the future of the regional system. The authors also assess the evolving European security architecture; the limits and possibilities of a genuine European foreign, security and defence policy; and the role of the EU in the post-Cold War international system. Common themes involve debates about stability and instability, continuity and change, multipolarity and leadership, co-operation and discord, power capabilities and patterns of behaviour. The book traces the defining features of the ‘new order’ in Europe and incorporates an analysis of the post-September 11th context.
Parties of the extreme Right have experienced a dramatic rise in electoral support in many countries in Western Europe over the last two and a half decades. This phenomenon has been far from uniform, however, and the considerable attention that the more successful right-wing extremist parties have received has sometimes obscured the fact that these parties have not recorded high electoral results in all West European democracies. Furthermore, their electoral scores have also varied over time, with the same party recording low electoral scores in one election but securing high electoral scores in another. This book examines the reasons behind the variation in the electoral fortunes of the West European parties of the extreme right in the period since the late 1970s. It proposes a number of different explanations as to why certain parties of the extreme right have performed better than others at the polls and it investigates each of these different explanations systematically and in depth.
The European Union’s dilemma
The European Union’s dilemma:
towards a union or not?
From its humble beginnings, [the Roman Empire] has grown so much that it is
now suffering under its own size. (Titus Livius)1
In March 1999 the European Commission, the European Union’s executive
branch, resigned under accusations of fraud, nepotism and mismanagement, leading to intensive soul-searching as to what could be the right
form of management for the EU. How could the democratic aspects of
the emerging entity be enhanced? How could democracy be improved
The left and European integration after the crisis
Michael Holmes and Knut Roder
2008 led to a sovereign debt crisis after governments intervened to try to prop up their banking systems. This in turn contributed to the very specific Eurozone crisis that developed due to the constraints of EMU, and these three financial and economic factors in turn caused a widespread social and political crisis.
The second overarching crisis is that of European integration. One analysis identified at least 13 different areas where the EU integration process has been challenged by ‘separate though related crises’ that are ‘multi-faceted in
This book explains the forms of popular protest before the Black Death in later Medieval Europe. It focuses on 'a contagion of revolts' following the Black Death from around 1355 to 1382. The book documents the best-known revolt in France before the French Revolution, the Jacquerie. The revolt spread from the Beauvaisis as far east as Bar on France's frontier with the Holy Roman Empire but lasted a mere two weeks, 28 May to 10 June 1358. The book also focuses on the best known of the urban revolts of the fourteenth century, the Revolt of the Ciompi, which set off with a constitutional conflict in June 1378, and whose regime in alliance with minor-guild artisans lasted until mid-January 1382. It then views the 'cluster of revolts' of northern France and Flanders, 1378 to 1382, concentrating on the most important of these, the tax revolts of the Harelle in Rouen and the Maillotins or hammer men in Paris. It looks beyond the 'cluster' to the early fifteenth century. While intended principally for students, the book aims to stimulate new research on popular protest in the Middle Ages. It includes a Parisian student conflict against the troops of the duke of Savoy in 1404.
In 1997, Stuart Clark published the first monograph since the time of Jules Michelet to focus on pre-modern ideas about witches. The language of belief in witchcraft studies betrays an anachronistic, modernist and dismissive approach to a mental universe quite different from our own. This book makes the male witch visible, to construct him as a historical subject, as a first step toward a deeper understanding of the functions and role of gender in pre-modern European witch-hunting and ideas about witches. The overtly political dimension to the study of witches in early modern Europe demands a high level of consciousness and reflexivity regarding language, representation, and meaning. William Monter provides a wealth of data about male witches, in an 'unremarkable province' close to 'the heart of northern and western Europe'. Here, men comprised the majority of those tried and executed for witchcraft. The book examines cases in which men were accused of witchcraft. The examples are drawn from several different regions, in order to test conventional generalisations about male witches. The agency theory posits that actors always have choices; 'agent-centred' morality proposes a novel twist on both traditional Kantian internalist categories. The problems of both male and female witches' agency and selfhood are discussed. The book also presents data compiled from ten canonical works, and a brief discussion of demonological illustrations. Finally, it addresses the question of what it means to label a man as a witch within a framework that explicitly and implicitly feminised witchcraft.
The European Commission had become one of the more contentious actors during both Irish referenda on the Lisbon Treaty. This book discusses the role of the European Commission and institutions more generally, as well as the policy area of justice and home affairs. It argues that it is important to evaluate the role of EU institutions for the process of European integration. The book suggests a reconceptualisation of the framework of supranational policy entrepreneurs (SPEs), which is often referred to by the academic literature that discusses the role of agency in European integration. It focuses on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) at the policy and treaty levels; primarily on four grounds: academic literature, SPE behaviour, EU's policymaking, and the interplay between treaty negotiations and policy-making. To analyse the role of the European institutions, the book combines an analysis of the Lisbon Treaty in relation to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice with an analysis of the policy-making in the same area. The public policy model by John Kingdon with constructivist international relations literature is also outlined. The external dimension of counter-terrorism in the EU; the role of the EU institutions in EU asylum and migration; and the role of he Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is discussed. The book also analyses the role of the EU institutions in the communitarisation of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and thus subsequently in the Lisbon Treaty.
From its conception to the referenda of 2005 where it met its end, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in support of the European Constitution. This book is the first in-depth account of his project. Emphasis is placed on the conception of the European Union (EU) that informed his political prescriptions. This study engages with Habermas's thought as a totality, though attention is focussed on themes such as communicative rationality that began to surface in the 1970s. The first part of the book considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe - 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that has assailed the project of modernity in recent decades with renewed intensity in the wake of 9/11. The final section looks at the conceptual landscape of the Constitutional Convention. The groundbreaking work of E. O. Eriksen, E. F. Fossum and others provides the most developed Habermasian account of the EU to date. Juridification is put forward as a metatheory of social modernity, and existing approaches from the corpus of European integration theory are drawn. Recent political theory confronts scholars of European integration with difficult questions. The social democrats who were interviewed had the opposite combination of opinions.
As two of the longest-serving prime ministers in Europe, Tony Blair and Bertie
Ahern were in power during one of the most tumultuous periods of European
integration. This book offers an insight into how they responded to the demands
and opportunities of European Union (EU) membership at the national level.
Drawing on extensive interviews with key figures, it explores how the two
leaders sought to radically reshape the EU national policy-making process in the
UK and Ireland in order to further their strategic policy agendas. The book
therefore asks three key questions. How did the national EU policy process
change between 1997 and 2007? To what extent did the UK and Irish policy
processes converge or diverge? Did the reforms enhance the projection of
national policy? These empirical and comparative questions are related to
broader theoretical and conceptual debates concerning Europeanisation. By
employing conceptual and analytical frameworks, the book considers what these
reforms tell us about the nature of the ‘EU effect’ in different member states.
Do governments simply adjust to EU-level pressures for change or try to adapt
strategically in order to maximise their influence? Are the changes attributable
to political agency or do they derive from longer-term structural developments