The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe

Princeton University Press
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Has Europe's extraordinary postwar recovery limped to an end? It would seem so. The United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, and former Soviet Bloc countries have experienced ethnic or religious disturbances, sometimes violent. Greece, Ireland, and Spain are menaced by financial crises. And the euro is in trouble. In The End of the West, David Marquand, a former member of the British Parliament, argues that Europe's problems stem from outdated perceptions of global power, and calls for a drastic change in European governance to halt the continent's slide into irrelevance. Taking a searching look at the continent's governing institutions, history, and current challenges, Marquand offers a disturbing diagnosis of Europe's ills to point the way toward a better future.

Exploring the baffling contrast between postwar success and current failures, Marquand examines the rebirth of ethnic communities from Catalonia to Flanders, the rise of xenophobic populism, the democratic deficit that stymies EU governance, and the thorny questions of where Europe's borders end and what it means to be European. Marquand contends that as China, India, and other nations rise, Europe must abandon ancient notions of an enlightened West and a backward East. He calls for Europe's leaders and citizens to confront the painful issues of ethnicity, integration, and economic cohesion, and to build a democratic and federal structure.

A wake-up call to those who cling to ideas of a triumphalist Europe, The End of the West shows that the continent must draw on all its reserves of intellectual and political creativity to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world, where the very language of "East" and "West" has been emptied of meaning. In a new preface, Marquand analyzes the current Eurozone crisis--arguing that it was inevitable due to the absurdity of combining monetary union with fiscal disunion--and raises some of the questions Europe will have to face in its recovery.

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About the author

David Marquand has been a member of the British Parliament, an official of the European Commission, and principal of Mansfield College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the author of many books, including Britain since 1918.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 26, 2012
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781400845019
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Modern / 21st Century
Political Science / Globalization
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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David Marquand
David Marquand
The seventy years since the end of the Second World War have seen dramatic changes in Britain’s cultural, intellectual and political climate. Old class allegiances have been challenged by new loyalties to gender, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle and a new sensibility of self-fulfilment – sometimes hedonistic, sometimes altruistic – has been born.

There have been equally seismic shifts in political ideology and public policy in this period. The Labour government of 1945 came to power with an ambitious collectivist programme, involving a planned economy and a cradle-to-grave welfare state. By 1979 the welfare state was widely attacked as a nanny state and economic planning had been discredited. The ascendant New Right sought instead to return to the economic liberalism of the last century while the Left seemed divided and in comprehensive retreat. The 1990s have seen yet another shift – away from the unbridled individualism of the Thatcher years towards a new emphasis on community, civic duty and mutual obligation.

In 'The Ideas that Shaped Post-War Britain', writers of the stature of James Bulpitt, Peter Clarke, José Harris, Albert Hirschman, David Marquand, Geoff Mulgan, Chris Pierson, Raymond Plant, Anthony Seldon, Robert Skidelsky and Robert Taylor give novel interpretations of this paradoxical evolution. They show how ideas once thought beyond the pale – privatisation, marketization, anti-trade union legislation – came to be seen as the norm in the 1980s, only to be challenged in turn in the 1990s, and relate these changes in the climate of ideas to transformations in the social sphere – the end of ‘jobs for life’, new sexual and cultural identities, the crises in relations between the leaders and the led. Fresh, unique and brilliantly well written, 'The Ideas that Shaped Post-War Britain' is an indispensable companion for anyone seeking to understand the course Britain has plotted in the second half of the twentieth century.

David Marquand
The seventy years since the end of the Second World War have seen dramatic changes in Britain’s cultural, intellectual and political climate. Old class allegiances have been challenged by new loyalties to gender, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle and a new sensibility of self-fulfilment – sometimes hedonistic, sometimes altruistic – has been born.

There have been equally seismic shifts in political ideology and public policy in this period. The Labour government of 1945 came to power with an ambitious collectivist programme, involving a planned economy and a cradle-to-grave welfare state. By 1979 the welfare state was widely attacked as a nanny state and economic planning had been discredited. The ascendant New Right sought instead to return to the economic liberalism of the last century while the Left seemed divided and in comprehensive retreat. The 1990s have seen yet another shift – away from the unbridled individualism of the Thatcher years towards a new emphasis on community, civic duty and mutual obligation.

In 'The Ideas that Shaped Post-War Britain', writers of the stature of James Bulpitt, Peter Clarke, José Harris, Albert Hirschman, David Marquand, Geoff Mulgan, Chris Pierson, Raymond Plant, Anthony Seldon, Robert Skidelsky and Robert Taylor give novel interpretations of this paradoxical evolution. They show how ideas once thought beyond the pale – privatisation, marketization, anti-trade union legislation – came to be seen as the norm in the 1980s, only to be challenged in turn in the 1990s, and relate these changes in the climate of ideas to transformations in the social sphere – the end of ‘jobs for life’, new sexual and cultural identities, the crises in relations between the leaders and the led. Fresh, unique and brilliantly well written, 'The Ideas that Shaped Post-War Britain' is an indispensable companion for anyone seeking to understand the course Britain has plotted in the second half of the twentieth century.

David Marquand
Has Europe's extraordinary postwar recovery limped to an end? It would seem so. The United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, and former Soviet Bloc countries have experienced ethnic or religious disturbances, sometimes violent. Greece, Ireland, and Spain are menaced by financial crises. And the euro is in trouble. In The End of the West, David Marquand, a former member of the British Parliament, argues that Europe's problems stem from outdated perceptions of global power, and calls for a drastic change in European governance to halt the continent's slide into irrelevance. Taking a searching look at the continent's governing institutions, history, and current challenges, Marquand offers a disturbing diagnosis of Europe's ills to point the way toward a better future.

Exploring the baffling contrast between postwar success and current failures, Marquand examines the rebirth of ethnic communities from Catalonia to Flanders, the rise of xenophobic populism, the democratic deficit that stymies EU governance, and the thorny questions of where Europe's borders end and what it means to be European. Marquand contends that as China, India, and other nations rise, Europe must abandon ancient notions of an enlightened West and a backward East. He calls for Europe's leaders and citizens to confront the painful issues of ethnicity, integration, and economic cohesion, and to build a democratic and federal structure.

A wake-up call to those who cling to ideas of a triumphalist Europe, The End of the West shows that the continent must draw on all its reserves of intellectual and political creativity to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world, where the very language of "East" and "West" has been emptied of meaning.

David Marquand
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