Surpassing Realism / Edition 1

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A second edition of this book is now available.

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)

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Editorial Reviews

Contemporary European History
An indispensable overview. . . . [W]ell written, well balanced, vivid and refreshingly positive, suitable for both students and specialists in European integration, a rewarding and entertaining read. . . . Gilbert’s clearly written and wide-ranging work extends not only to political history but also to the history of institutions, economies and monetary developments.
Political Studies Review
A balanced historical account [and] a very fine piece of scholarship. It deserves to become a standard text.
— Anthony O'Halloran
Michael Baun
A highly readable and lucid account of the EU's institutional development from the early postwar years to the present. One of the best general histories of the EU currently available.
Philip M. H. Bell
Mark Gilbert has written a lively and balanced book on an intricate, difficult, and often contentious subject. At a time when European integration is approaching a crucial stage, Surpassing Realism deserves the widest possible readership.
Alberta M. Sbragia
Mark Gilbert has produced a very accessible and well-written historical account of European integration. Gilbert brings people and events to life in a way that engages both the student and the specialist. This book will be a must-read for anyone interested in the history and evolution of the European Union.
Political Studies Review - Anthony O'Halloran
A balanced historical account [and] a very fine piece of scholarship. It deserves to become a standard text.
Michael J. Baun
A highly readable and lucid account of the EU's institutional development from the early postwar years to the present. One of the best general histories of the EU currently available.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742519145
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Governance in Europe Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Gilbert is professor of contemporary European history at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: An Unusual New Polity
Chapter 2: Enemies to Partners: The Politics of Cooperation in Western Europe 1945–1950
Chapter 3: Spillovers and Setbacks: From the Schuman Plan to the Common Market 1950–1958
Chapter 4: In the Shadow of the General: De Gaulle and the EEC 1958–1969
Chapter 5: Weathering the Storm: The EC during the Economic Crises of the 1970s
Chapter 6: The 1992 Initiative and the Single European Act
Chapter 7: The Maastricht Compromise
Chapter 8: Europe Since Maastricht
Bibliographical Essay

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