Diversity and Adaptation

Jan Zielonka

in Europe as Empire

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199292219
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603754 | DOI:
Diversity and Adaptation

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This chapter assesses the process of mutual adaptation between the two parts of Europe. It tries to rethink the role and meaning of divergence in the process of European integration, and searches for the best way to handle it. It argues that it would be difficult for the Union to acquire the basic features of a Westphalian state due to persistent divergence across various functional and geographical fields. However, the dividing lines do not necessarily run across the former East-West divide. Moreover, if one abandons the Westphalian paradigm, divergence may be seen as an asset rather than only as a liability for the future EU. Looser and less integrated systems can cope well with diversity, and even profit from it. Besides, divergence is subject to political engineering with enlargement being a powerful tool for remedying the existing gaps in Europe.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Western Europe; European integration; diversity

Chapter.  10098 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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