- Gebundene Ausgabe: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: John Wiley & Sons; Auflage: 1 (11. Oktober 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0745680968
- ISBN-13: 978-0745680965
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,9 x 2,5 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
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Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 11. Oktober 2013
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Winner of the European Book Prize for Non-Fiction
"Rich in insights on conceptualising problems and identifying solutions."
LSE Review of Books
"A significant intervention into the debate about Europe's future."
Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany
"An indispensable book at a time when clear thinking about the EU is vital. Deserves to be actively debated across Europe at such a critical juncture in the continent's history."
Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Secretary-General of NATO
"In the 1980s the famous Cecchini Report played a crucial role in fostering the single currency. I expect this book by Tony Giddens to play a similar role in the creation of the more integrated Europe essential to us all twenty five years later."
Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of Italy
"A great book bout the possibilities for European social democracy in the modern world."
"From the perspective of a new entrant country like Romania, Giddens' views are as relevant as they are to the founding member states. A must-read for all who are concerned about Europe's future, whatever shade of opinion they may hold."
Ana Birchall, MP and Member of the European Affairs Commission, Romanian Parliament
"A must-read from one of the leading thinkers of our time, for all who want the European Project to adapt and progress, and preferably do so with the United Kingdom as a committed member of a stronger but also more flexible Union."
Kemal Dervis, Vice-President for Global Economics at the Brookings Institution and former Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs
"...Giddens succeeds in cutting through much of the turgid intramural debate on Europe to offer a clear diagnosis of the European Union's dilemma, and a powerful argument in its favour."
Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
"The author raises a wide range of subjects: global warming, energy consumption, immigration, digital economy, diplomacy. His viewpoints are clear. This oeuvre offers a logical and thought-provoking perspective."
"This latest work by Anthony Giddens is a brilliant and subtle contribution to the future of Europe."
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Anthony Giddens is former Director of the London School of Economics, Life Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and Member of the House of Lords, UK.
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While Giddens does not mention anything new, he does talk about redistribution of wealth from rich to poor countries in Europe. That's been going on for a while anyway, and a bane in Germany's eye. Germany has been supporting and bailing out the Greek and Portugese economies for years and the taxes on its citizens keep rising. How much more can Germans tolerate before its people succumb to violent protest?
Giddens mentions the European Social Model (ESM) many times throughout this book. The ESM was at its zenith in the 1970s, when the economy across Europe was strong and immigration was not yet out of hand. Liberal social policies kept the poor surviving and the strong, stronger. Austerity measures are not very popular with citizens of the affected countries, since ultimately it is the citizens who suffer the most from any changes to the norm.
Giddens is right when he says repeatedly how important the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, has been to the survival of Europe. Without the IMF, there could be no EU. And without the guidance and support of both Germany and France, there would be no strong Europe now.
With the recent events in Ukraine and Russia, this book has regained importance. If Russia places economic cutbacks on Europe in the form of reduced energy exports, could the EU survive?
This is not an easy read, but chapters are broken down for further clarity. Readers should take time to soak up Gidden's analysis and come up with their own opinion of the importance of the EU in today's world.
The author maintains that great creativity must be used as the recovery is slow and it can't just rely on some normal course of events to handle the job.
He actually wants Europe to look to the US for direction, as our economy is currently the best in the world and we've confronted immigration and done pretty well, for example.
Some points from the book....
1. Europe is no longer mighty, but still must face some internal differences. Most countries have mounted up enormous debt and the Welfare state approach which has existed for years,can't stay that way because governments can't afford to do so without major changes, like with pensions, using a more defined contribution approach as the US does. The author describes such an eventuality as a social investment state - embrace opportunity and risk - flexsecurity.
2. The three main EU institutions are the Commission, Council and Parliament. EU1 has evolved into EU2, where rule, so to speak, is decided, but that's the problem - no voting by all EU people, just basically out of sight with basically France and Germany's leaders making the decisions.
3 Climate change is big, but the EU is mixed up. It should evolve into renewable energy like getting off coal first since that is the worst pollutant, so even advance more into fracking as the US is doing, since natural gas can replace coal. The author sees coal as worse than nuclear.
4. The IMF has turned into a big player, also the ECB. But, unlike the US, there is no EU bond like US Treasuries.
5. The author thinks an economic federalism has to occur, call it EU3. Each state must have some voice. It could take up to ten years.
6. English should be made the official EU language, with everyone speaking/writing both English and their native country's language.
7. The author talks about a representative democracy, but with more visibility, a monitory democracy, maybe incorporating advances in social media....a global village. Embrace a re-industrialization like the US - 3D printing, etc.
8. Austerity is bad, but still reform is necessary in most states.
9. Smart growth needed - reform education, innovation, R&D, information and communication technologies.
10. Take action on tax havens and tax avoidance. Income inequality is a problem.
11. Interculturism must replace multiculturalism in a globalized world - accepting people as different, not expecting assimilation.
12. The author, basically agreeing that China is more democratic than the US. The US being a showbiz democracy, more about showmanship than leadership, while China has deep discussions before agreeing on a 5 year plan.
13. The EU tried to be in the forefront on climate change, wanting to establish a carbon tax and have a trading system, but it ran into all kinds of problems, with any reduction of emissions mostly due to the recession. CA has had more success with such a trading system. Obama met with major nations and at least came up with in informal agreement, where the dysfunctional EU was essentially left out. So, basically the world has done nothing to reduce emissions, while also we have entered an anthropocene age, where humans have influenced nature everywhere. Conservation is no longer relevant, must use artificial means like biotechnology to recreate what has been lost. Again, the EU is especially dependent on more creatively doing things, rather than looking to the past.
14. As for energy, the EU is messed up. Coal is the worst, and reducing nuclear energy just means greater use of coal, plus natural gas is best until renewables dominate, but EU lags the US in fracking knowledge.
Anyway, the book is very good in showing how Europe is facing a critical time where it faces many challenges while not very united as needed, so must embark on more creativity to solve the problems, hence even more important to look to the US, which does lead in creativity even with its dysfunctional government.
Arguing that a "lean federation" of European nations can have a more commanding presence in the global stage than any of the constituent nation can presently hope for, Giddens also asserts that with more effective pooling of resources and sovereignty (he calls this "sovereignty+"), a reformed European Union can also more effectively tackle region-wide concerns, such as border and energy security, tax evasion prevention, jobs creation, etc.
Giddens' proposed reforms include giving European Union's Commission, Council, and Parliament more real powers while also making the ways they work more transparent to ordinary European citizens, who should have the right to elect the EU President directly and propose initiatives for region-wide consideration.
The high-level proposals and recommendations discussed in this book are not entirely new, so some readers might already possess some degrees of familiarity with them. While the fates of the various proposals, if adopted, remain dependent upon details which have yet to be fleshed out and implemented, as a source of ideas, this book is certainly worth a read.
Despite the forceful title, the book is essentially a series of policy arguments, although the chapters also provide helpful summaries of many recent political and economic developments. Each chapter essentially boils down to some form of mea culpa: "yes, the EU and its institutions haven't done (fiscal, immigration, environmental) policy particularly well, but...." He is particularly critical of two dysfunctional features of the Union - the tendency for key decisions to be made in secret among only the top officials (what he calls EU2, as opposed to EU1 which are the Union's representative institutions and their procedures) and "paper Europe," in which innumerable projects and programs are developed that remain unrealized. Giddens argues both for an extension of democratic control over the EU governance system and for tighter integration between and inclusion (of ethnic minorities) within the borders of Europe's different nation states.
Given its measured tone and constant effort both to account for the Union's failures and to buttress support for it, the book can be a bit maddening. Like the EU itself, Giddens often provides suggestions without providing a concrete sense of how they are to be accomplished. For example, he wants the respective national government to work in greater cooperations with the EU parliament: but what this means and how its to be done are left unsaid. Similarly, he laments the failure of Europe's cap-and-trade scheme (ETS) for carbon emissions, but his alternatives - geo-engeering - aren't really fleshed out much either. Indeed, "Turbulent and Mighty Continent" often reads like a wish-list by an insider a bit divorced from the realities of day-to-day experience himself: just try convincing many French and Germans that the problem with multiculturalism is that there hasn't been enough of it (cf. the recent sweep of French municipal elections by the far-right National Front).
If you can adapt to Gidden's odd tone, both hesitant and a bit ponderous, there's some valuable information here. His discussion of the effects of austerity policy in Europe are quite eye-opening and the impact of neoliberal policies on the social welfare state are disquieting (although he still wants to salvage some good from neoliberal privatization unlike David Harvey, but then Harvey isn't in the House of Lords either). In the end, though, "Turbulent and Mighty Continent," despite Giddens' guarded confidence that the continent can rally its forces together, left me feeling less certain about the durability of the "European project" than before.
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