Europe Adrift: Its Cultural, Social, Political and Econonic Confusion after the Cold War

Overview

With authority and clarity, Europe Adrift provides a keen and astute analysis of why in the post-Cold War era Europe lacks direction and sensible priorities. John Newhouse - a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a consultant to the State Department - is perfectly placed to examine the deep and continuing divisions in a unified Germany, France's reluctance to accept Germany's ascendancy in European affairs, the self-marginalization of Britain, the lapses of the European Union, and the complex politics ...
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Overview

With authority and clarity, Europe Adrift provides a keen and astute analysis of why in the post-Cold War era Europe lacks direction and sensible priorities. John Newhouse - a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a consultant to the State Department - is perfectly placed to examine the deep and continuing divisions in a unified Germany, France's reluctance to accept Germany's ascendancy in European affairs, the self-marginalization of Britain, the lapses of the European Union, and the complex politics of NATO enlargement. We are able to comprehend as never before Europe's inability to deal with the tragic events in the former Yugoslavia, the likelihood that a single European currency will be politically divisive and even damaging to the economies it is meant to help, and the dangers of a breakdown of Russia's armed forces, including the system that controls the country's nuclear weapons.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Focusing on Germany, France and Britain, but also dipping into what he calls "the troubled Mediterranean," Newhouse (War and Peace in the Nuclear Age) finds a lack of direction bordering on chaos just about everywhere in Europe. The Cold War, he argues, had a positive effect on Western Europe in that it unified the various countries under the umbrella of American protection and gave them a common enemy, if not a common purpose. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, that unity is gone, as is any realistic hope of a strong European political union, and a common currencyif it ever happenswill prove to be harmful, Newhouse contends, because the "single-minded campaign" to promote the conversion could sidetrack negotiations over the enlargement of the European Monetary Union. Germany is now the major European nation, with France and Britain becoming increasingly less important, but Germany itself remains "two divided societies." Newhouse notes that the specter of rampant organized crime haunts the entire continent, while the Western nations seem unwilling or unable to manage events on their very doorsteps (Yugoslavia, for example, and the simmering conflict between Greece and Turkey). Meanwhile, a weak Russia, unable to control its nuclear weapons supply, seems to be becoming a bigger threat than the U.S.S.R. had been. A skillful hands-on reporter, Newhouse has gone into the field and has reached well beyond an academic's well-stocked library. He is also a provocative writer who provides much controversy here. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Newhouse is an experienced observer of European affairs. A former foreign correspondent for the New Yorker and a current fellow of the Brookings Institution, Newhouse believes that Europe is lagging in the race toward the next millennium: "Germany, Europe's nominal leader, is providing little direction, political or entrepreneurial. Britain is divided and hard to predict. France is weak, its mood pessimistic; a spirit of alienation is beginning to afflict much of French society." The solution he advocates requires a three-pronged strategy: further integration through the European Union, tolerance of regional aspirations, and closer association with the United States. But the author doubts whether the major players have the leadership ability or foresight to move ahead. His survey of recent events draws on interviews with elites and is clearly presented, and he alludes to the possibility of turbulence ahead. The author and the publisher have worked hard to ensure that the text is as up-to-date as possible, with recent revisions addressing this year's elections and the debate surrounding the Euro currency. Recommended for academic libraries with a collection in European studies.Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
Timothy Garton Ash
...there is a lot of good, serious, balanced reporting in "Europe Adrift," and Newhouse makes two arguments that deserve closer attention. The first, and most distinctive, is that Europe's regions may become as important as its states. The second is that the project of European monetary union may be leading the European Union to what he calls a "collective nervous breakdown." -- Timothy Garton Ash, The New York Review of Books
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran correspondent's bleak appraisal of the state of the European Union on the eve of a new millennium.

Drawing largely on his own reportage and on statistical data, Newhouse (War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, 1988, etc.) reviews the many ways in which the alliance founded in 1957 as the Common Market has been marking time rather than advancing during the postCold War era. For example, citing the emergence of economic powerhouses at the local level (which stoutly resist the regulatory excesses of bureaucratic Brussels), he speculates that the EU could one day resemble the Hanseatic League to the extent that it was comprised of semiautonomous regions (Bavaria, Spanish Catalonia, northern Italy, et al.) rather than nation-states. The author (now a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution) goes on to assess the obstacles still impeding the integration of East and West Germany, the reluctance of Paris to accept the dominion of Berlin in continental affairs, and the oddly disinterested role played by the UK in the confederation's business. Covered as well are the 15- member coalition's hesitancy to acknowledge that expansion (not a chimerical monetary union) is job number one; the comparatively low priority accorded security; the cultural differences that continue to divide a putatively united Europe; and the reality (confirmed by the area's inability to respond decisively to conflicts in the Balkans) that America remains Europe's keeper—and its pre-eminent power. Newhouse also casts a cold eye on Germany's disinclination to provide an errant Europe with either entrepreneurial or political direction, and the impact of recent elections (in France, the UK, and elsewhere) on the ruinously expensive welfare policies of most member nations.

An illuminating audit of the credits and debits amassed by the decidedly strange bedfellows constituting today's EU.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679433705
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/2/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

John Newhouse is the author of six previous books, including War and Peace in the Nuclear Age and The Sporty Game.  Formerly a staff writer for the New Yorker, where he mainly covered foreign policy, he is currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a consultant to the State Department.  He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. I Europe Redefining Itself 3
Ch. II Power Trickles Down 23
Ch. III A Collective Nervous Breakdown 73
Ch. IV Germany Adrift 115
Ch. V France and Britain: L'Entente Ambigue 153
Ch. VI Unthreatened Yet Insecure 197
Ch. VII The Trouble Mediterranean 251
Afterword 291
Notes 310
Bibliography 323
Index 327
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