The British Contribution to the Europe of the Twenty-First Century

Article excerpt

EUROPE

Edited by B.S. Markesinis

Oxford: Hart, 2002, xi, 266pp, US$60.00, ISBN 1-84113-276-4

This edited volume began life as a conference that examined the British contribution to Europe. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the broad theme, the result is an eclectic collection covering a diversity of topics, some of which are likely to appeal only to specialized readerships. To take just a few examples, individual chapters deal with the different techniques of teaching law in England and Germany; the problems facing British historians studying the Iberian Peninsula; and the Warburg Institute as a microcosm of cultural exchange between Britain and Europe.

To the extent that any elements of the British-European relationship dominate in this volume, it is the legal and political aspects of the relationship; six chapters are devoted to the former and five to the latter. With respect to the political relationship, Britain's place within the European Union (EU) occupies a central place in the various contributions. Kenneth Dyson's chapter, for example, provides a sweeping survey of the factors that influence Britain's position in the EU. Dyson indicates that this relationship is likely to continue to be controversial because the EU is an experimental union with an unclear final destination and because of conflict over identity politics in Britain. …