The European Sisyphus: Essays on Europe, 1964-1994

The European Sisyphus: Essays on Europe, 1964-1994

The European Sisyphus: Essays on Europe, 1964-1994

The European Sisyphus: Essays on Europe, 1964-1994

Synopsis

Bringing together all of Stanley Hoffmann's significant essays on the development and difficulties of European integration, this collection highlights the intractability of the divisions that plagued the European Union from its very beginning. Just as the process of integration has displayed the same ambiguities, hesitations, and failings over the years, so have Hoffmann's general preoccupations and emphases remained constant. These essays provide a view of evolution and change as well as an examination of the crises and turning points in the history of European integration. Hoffmann chronicles the ebb and flow of the process from the time of Charles de Gaulle's challenge to Jean Monnet's conception of supranational integration through the 1970s "period of stagnation" and on to the 1992 single-market program and the Maastricht Treaty. Scholars will welcome the opportunity to have Hoffmann's analyses- most long unavailable- within one volume. Students will find Hoffmann's consistent and cohesive vision an invaluable guide to understanding the evolution of European union.

Excerpt

This collection of essays gathers pieces written over a period of thirty years, 1964 to 1994. They comment on the development and difficulties of European integration. First, it was the European Economic Community (EEC), later the European Community (EC); now it is the European Union. It has grown from its original six members to the current twelve, and if the four newly admitted applicants get their electorates to approve their accession, the European Union (EU) will soon have sixteen members--with several more possible: Former members of the late Soviet bloc are knocking at the door. One of my reasons for putting these pieces together is my belief that many of the issues that trouble the EU today have plagued it from the beginning and have not been resolved. It is this continuity in flaws and obstacles that has led me to begin the collection by juxtaposing the oldest essay, written in 1964--an essay that emerged from and reacted to the generally optimistic view of Europe conveyed by the Daedalus issue called "A New Europe?" (1963)--and the most recent, which explicitly "revisits" the landscape of 1964. It isn't only European integration that displays the same ambiguities, hesitations, and failings over this long period; the reader will find that my preoccupations and emphases have remained quite constant as well.

A second reason for assembling these pieces is that they provide a view of evolution and change, an examination of the crises and turning points in the history of European integration. The essays fall into three broad clusters: Chapter 1 and 3 were written in the mid-1960s (although the version of Chapter 3 reprinted here was brought up to date in 1973)--at the time of Charles de Gaulle's challenge of both the Jean Monnet conception of functional, supranational integration and the American notion of Atlantic partnership. Chapters 4 to 7 were written during the European Community's "period of stagnation," when the limited recovery that followed de Gaulle's departure from the scene (and entailed a first attempt at moving toward greater economic unity, as well as the enlargement that opened the door to the United Kingdom) was stymied by the combined effects of Henry Kissinger's imperious diplomacy and the oil crises of 1973 and 1979. The remaining chapters were written between 1988 and 1994. They deal with the new recovery that led first to the "1992" single market program and later to the Maastricht Treaty of European Union. They reflect, and brood about, the drastic change in the international context: the collapse of the Soviet empire in Europe (and later of the Soviet Union itself) and the effects on the European Community, or . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.