How to Democratize Europe
Stéphanie Hennette, Thomas Piketty, Guillaume Sacriste, and Antoine Vauchez Harvard University Press, 2019 Library of Congress JN40.H4613 2019 | Dewey Decimal 320.94
An all-star cast of scholars and politicians from Europe and America propose and debate the creation of a new European parliament with substantial budgetary and legislative power to solve the crisis of governance in the Eurozone and promote social and fiscal justice and public investment.
The European Union is struggling. The rise of Euroskeptic parties in member states, economic distress in the south, the migrant crisis, and Brexit top the news. But deeper structural problems may be a greater long-term peril. Not least is the economic management of the Eurozone, the nineteen countries that use the Euro. How can this be accomplished in a way generally acceptable to members, given a political system whose structures are routinely decried for a lack of democratic accountability? How can the EU promote fiscal and social justice while initiating the long-term public investments that Europe needs to overcome stagnation? These are the problems a distinguished group of European and American scholars set out to solve in this short but valuable book.
Among many longstanding grievances is the charge that Eurozone policies serve large and wealthy countries at the expense of poorer nations. It is also unclear who decides economic policy, how the interests of diverse member states are balanced, and to whom the decision-makers are accountable. The four lead authors—Stéphanie Hennette, Thomas Piketty, Guillaume Sacriste, and Antoine Vauchez—describe these and other problems, and respond with a draft treaty establishing a parliament for economic policy, its members drawn from national parliaments. We then hear from invited critics, who express support, objections, or alternative ideas.
How to Democratize Europe offers a chance to observe how major thinkers view some of the Continent’s most pressing issues and attempt to connect democratic reform with concrete changes in economic and social policies.
From the vantage point of the United States or Western Europe, the 1970s was a time of troubles: economic “stagflation,” political scandal, and global turmoil. Yet from an international perspective it was a seminal decade, one that brought the reintegration of the world after the great divisions of the mid-twentieth century. It was the 1970s that introduced the world to the phenomenon of “globalization,” as networks of interdependence bound peoples and societies in new and original ways.
The 1970s saw the breakdown of the postwar economic order and the advent of floating currencies and free capital movements. Non-state actors rose to prominence while the authority of the superpowers diminished. Transnational issues such as environmental protection, population control, and human rights attracted unprecedented attention. The decade transformed international politics, ending the era of bipolarity and launching two great revolutions that would have repercussions in the twenty-first century: the Iranian theocratic revolution and the Chinese market revolution.
The Shock of the Global examines the large-scale structural upheaval of the 1970s by transcending the standard frameworks of national borders and superpower relations. It reveals for the first time an international system in the throes of enduring transformations.