The Impact of European Integration: Political, Sociological, and Economic Changes

By George A. Kourvetaris; Andreas Moschonas | Go to book overview

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The Logic of European Integration

Andreas Moschonas

European integration is interpreted here as a historical process wherein the expansionist logic embodied in the capitalist mode of production tends to disturb the balance between institutional "form" and material "content," thus reinforcing some form of institutional organization at a higher level. However, the crystallization of the European Union's specific form of institutional organization has been possible only under the impact of the historically conditioned cultural and geopolitical peculiarities of Europe. 1

In this sense the logic of European integration, as exemplified through the various theories of integration, is presented here in association with an analysis of those very European peculiarities. Thus, in what follows, the first section deals with the historical conjuncture, the second section examines the conventional theory of integration, the third section is devoted to an analysis of the Marxist theory of integration, and the final section presents some conclusions.


THE HISTORICAL CONJUNCTURE

It is well known that World War II was mainly a European war, and its impact upon the whole fabric of the European nations was enormous: physical destruction, the paralysis of the transport system, the atrophy of governments, the ruin of the currency, and galloping price rises all combined to bring the 1946 national incomes and outputs well below the levels of prewar years. For example, France's gross domestic product in 1946 was a little under 50 percent of prewar activity; Italy's stood at 61 percent of the prewar figure; the Netherlands' was at 74 percent; and Germany's national income and output in 1946 were as low as 29 percent of those of 1938. It was not until 1948 that most of the European countries were able to approach the prewar levels of output and income. 2

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