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The Struggle for the Organization of Europe
The Foundations of the European Union
This book offers a new view suggesting that European integration has been driven by political rather than economic considerations.
The author makes it clear that from the end of the Second World War any plan of economic or monetary cooperation in Europe was almost exclusively motivated by politics. He argues that the very foundation of the organization of Western Europe was based on preventing further conflict between France and the newly partitioned Germany. Specifically, Robert Lieshout analyzes the initial stages of European cooperation between 1947 and 1957. He demonstrates that European institutions usually associated with economic integration, such as the European Economic Community, were actually laid to achieve the political aim of reconciliation between France and Germany. The fact that the very reasons for establishing a more formal organization of Europe have changed, i.e. the re-unification of Germany in 1990, makes for an interesting conclusion on future developments in European integration.
This book will be warmly welcomed by both academics and students interested in European integration, international political economy, history, international relations, European Studies and economics.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`Robert Lieshout makes an important contribution to the growing historical and theoretical literature on the development of European institutionalized cooperation since World War II. Lieshout's main method to pursue this line of inquiry is a careful,thoughtful and engaging historical reconstruction of the political concerns, motives and efforts of the top foreign policy officials of [the] countries [involved]. Lieshout draws for us, in a concise but careful way, all of the key elements of the European diplomatic landscape in the aftermath of World War II. Finally, Lieshout presents a fine analysis of German foreign policy in these years, and especially of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's efforts to pursue European institutionalized cooperation as a mechanism to effect reconciliation with France and to reincorporate Germany into Western Europe as an independent but reliable and, above all, peaceful partner. Lieshout has provided us with a book that is empirically rich and theoretically fruitful. This book, especially when read in conjunction with the works by Lundestad and Moravcsik, provides us with a superb understanding of the diplomacy that produced the Europe of today.' -- Joseph Grieco, Acta Politica `This is a most unusual book for a professor of international relations to have written, for it is based on a detailed reading of recent historical monographs and historical journals. The outcome is a lively, argumentative and historically-based interpretation of the European Communities and the European Union. . . . a brisk, highly readable and challenging ninth chapter for the years 1957 to the present. . . . As a coherent account of the way national strategies devised by elites led to a Europe in which the common market did become the central pin of its organization, when solely for economic purposes there were often better choices around. . . his book can however be recommended, both as a sustained argument and as evidence that international relations and political science reach a higher plane when their practitioners read the full history of their subject.' -- Alan Milward, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and European University Institute, Italy `. . . the book is very well written. Lieshout has an attractive combative style and is well able to engage the reader's attention and interest . . . the emphasis is on the foundation of what today we call the European Union . . . he points out that the foundation of "Europe" was motivated by political and not economic considerations. This is a good point to make since whilst academics (such as myself) have always understood this to be the case, the general public has persistently tended to regard it as an economic venture. The search for peace and tranquillity in Europe ("What shall we do about the Germans?") together with a collective response to the Communist threat (external but also internal) have been the main driving forces. The book, which skilfully takes us through the various negotiating phases (successes and failures) of the post-war founding process, also spells out the enormously important role played by the USA . . . All in all Lieshout's book is a welcome addition to the English language literature on European Union.' -- Dennis Swann, Loughborough University, UK `Many analyses of European Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of the euro focus almost exclusively on the economic costs which these will entail and the benefits they will bring . . . European integration is not just an economic event; it is also driven by political motives. Indeed, this fact must be acknowledged if one is to understand what is happening in the process of European integration and why. The book has been written precisely from this perspective. The author even argues that political factors have had and continue to have the upper hand in many areas of European co-operation . . . Since Europe is about more than just economics - however important this may be - it is useful that analyses like this one, focusing on the political aspect of European integration, are being written. They deserve to be read.' -- From the foreword by W. F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank