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A true global giant, the European Union is a unique confederation of 15 member-states whose collective economic power is second only to that of the United States. Already encompassing 375 million citizens, the EU will soon grow to include a further 10 states from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. To understand the future of this remarkable experiment in regional cooperation, we must first trace its past.
This engaging text provides a concise political history of European integration from the end of World War II to the present. The "European project" raises fascinating and important questions: How did Europe's states overcome their traditional rivalries and quarrels to build supranational institutions' What were the economic and geopolitical forces that drove them? Which statesmen contributed most to defining the European project? What are the issues that confronted the EU in the last decade and what problems will the EU face as its leaders consider even more advanced forms of political integration? All these questions are addressed by this text, which offers a clear and readable account of the complex historical process by which Europe's unique polity has been built.
2004 update: "A Fiasco But Not a Disaster" by Mark Gilbert, courtesy of World Policy Journal, Vol. 21 (Spring 2004) www.worldpolicy.org