Great introductory book regarding the EU,
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact (Kindle Edition)If you want to understand what kind of political creature the European Union is, what its past looks like and what are the premises for its future evolution, then Andreas Staab's book is the right guide. The reader will get not only information about the European supranational institutions and the integration process, but also about their with correlation with external factors and how human agency and structure are intimately intertwinned in determining social, political and economic change on the continent. This text is a good starting point for anybody interested in the EU and regional integration.
My impession is that the second edition of the book was written no later than 2010, before the economic crisis really hit some of the member states, becoming a systemic risk for the EU. For the moment it is not clear where the Union is heading, but as soon the picture will regain some clarity, Andreas Staab should go ahead with the third edition. This future one will need a thorough rewriting of some chapters in the light of today's events. Paradoxically, the balance between federalism and intergovernmentalism is tilting further towards the latter, although the failure of the Europeans to deal effectively with the crisis lies significantly in the incapacity of the obviously stronger intergovernmental leadership to act proactively, and to reach consensual medium and long term solutions. The growing eurosceptic mood within member states' electorates strenghtens at the supranational level exactly those, i.e. the national governments, who have the necessary financial and administrative resources but proved incapable to manage the crisis.
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