Within a few years the European Union will be enlarged from fifteen to twenty-eight member states, including Turkey. Cultural Overstretch investigates whether the new countries culturally fit into the European Union. Interpreting the European treaties and the European Law, Gerhards describes in a first step what he calls 'The value script of the European Union'. Using survey data from twenty-eight countries the author examines in a second step whether citizens support the value script of the European Union and whether there are significant differences between old and new member states and candidate countries. The book also highlights cultural differences by referring to modernization theory and forecasts in the concluding chapter the political consequences of a possible cultural overstretch of the European Union.
1. Theoretical Framework, Methods and Research Questions 2. Religion in Europe 3. Family Values and Gender Roles 4. Sexuality Norms 5. Economic Values 6. Political Values: Democracy and Civil Society 7. The European Idea of a Welfare State 8. Conclusions: Does the EU Enlargement Lead to a Cultural Overstretch
Europe is currently undergoing massive change. In the former Eastern Europe, societies are adapting to post-communist regimes and economies and facing the implications of war in the Balkans. In the west the increased integration of the European Union impacts on every aspect of legal, economic and political life. The whole of Europe is going through major transformations in terms of gender, race and class. This series published by Routledge with the European Sociological Association, provides a forum for sociological responses to these developments.