European Integration: The Rescue of the Nation State?

Robert Bideleux

in The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560981
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191749490 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 European Integration: The Rescue of the Nation State?

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  • European History
  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
  • Cold War


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Rejecting claims that European integration has been inimical or antithetical to nations, states, and ‘national’ interests, Alan Milward's The European Rescue of the Nation-State (1992) argues that the relationship between European integration and the nation-state has been mutually beneficial and supportive. This article discusses the European Union's ‘rescues’ of small and sub-state nations, languages, cultures, and minorities; EU state-building and ‘rescues of the nation-state’ in the post-Communist East Central European, Baltic, and Balkan regions; transformations of the states in need of ‘rescue’, focusing on ‘embedded neoliberalism’; the EU and ‘the nation-state’ after the Lisbon Treaty of 2009; the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008–2009 and the eurozone crises of 2010–2012; and the decade-long ‘money illusion’ of economic prosperity in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain.

Keywords: European integration; Alan Milward; nation-state; European Union; state-building; minorities; embedded neoliberalism; Lisbon Treaty; eurozone crises; money illusion

Article.  11972 words. 

Subjects: European History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Cold War

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