Europe's Ambiguous Unity: Conflict and Consensus in the Post-Maastricht Era

Harry Platt Bristol Professor of International Relations Alan Cafruny has joined with Carl Lankowski in editing this two-part work which explores the validity of European unity since the establishment of the european Union (EU). The authors have focused on the connections between processes of European integration and the articulation of alternative programs and policies. The first part of this volume considers the key unresolved dilemmas of the new economic and political union, while the second part examines case studies of political and social movements through the EU, closely examining those states that have voiced the greatest concern about the union, as well as the greatest support.

Cafruny and Lankowski begin their exploration of the unity within the European Union with several premises. First, they contend that Europe already possessed a constitution. Second, they argue that the Treaty on European Union established a new set of problems while only partially resolving existing ones. Finally, they say that Europe faces intense pressures from both within and without to develop what the author’s call “novel forms of participation and legitimization.”

By examining the pressures and diversity present in different European states prior to the induction of the EU, and considering the stance of these same nation-state members of the union the authors hope to determine the true state of unity that exists between EU members today. Have the nations of western Europe formed an ambiguous unity, as the authors hypothesize, or does there exist a more solid foundation?

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