Chapter

The Dynamics of European Society

Neil Fligstein

in Euroclash

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199580859
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580859.003.0001
The Dynamics of European Society

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An observer from 1945 who returned today to the border between Germany and France would be astounded. Instead of devastation, army outposts, and checkpoints, they would simply observe a lack of borders. The main Western European actors in that war, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy have given up military competition and instead taken up political and economic cooperation. As a result, the people who live in Western Europe enjoy high levels of income and a good quality of life. This is a remarkable feat given the history of Western Europe and its role in the world in the past 500 years. Europe has morphed from the main site of war and imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to a prosperous, peaceful region that has operated as a political conscience for the world.

Keywords: Europe; war; economic cooperation; horizontal linkages; social integration; market integration; politics; trade; European Union

Chapter.  16706 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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