Europe’s American Idol

Joseph M. Parent

in Uniting States

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782192
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919147 | DOI:
Europe’s American Idol

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This chapter investigates the prospects for Europe to truly unify and form a pole in the international system. It tracks the ebb and flow of European integration from the Concert of Europe to 2010. It finds that realism offers the most parsimonious explanation of events and predicts that optimists and pessimists exaggerate the future course of the European Union. The United States is a fine idol for would-be European unifiers, but they face daunting tradeoffs with respect to democracy and the use of force. The causal logics of ever-closer union that were supposed to draw the continent closer are found to be too weak. Outside threats are the critical ingredient to European integration.

Keywords: European Union; EU; integration; unification; union; Morgenthau Plan; Marshall Plan; Maastricht Treaty; realism

Chapter.  8429 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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