Saturday, November 28, 2009

The New Old World

"[This is] a major work of modern history and political analysis by a leading historian and social theorist. Surveying the post-Cold War trajectory of each European power, and the halting progress towards social and economic integration, Perry Anderson punctures both domestic and American myths about continental Europe. Whilst noting the relative achievement of German integration, Anderson draws out the connections between the EU’s eastward expansion, a foreign policy that is largely subservient to America’s, and the popular rejection of the European Constitution. As a largely economic project, pushed forward by a succession of neoliberal regimes, the European Union cannot afford to allow its people to choose freely: it remains ‘a caricature of a democratic federation’. But if the EU is largely an economic construction, can its member states nevertheless act as Venus to America’s Mars, at least putting a brake on US foreign policy? Perry Anderson’s assessment of Europe’s record, supporting American foreign policy on every major question, shows that the enlarged Union is less independent than ever before." Book rec of the day.