Political Economy of Europe History, Ideologies and Contemporary Challenges
The development of European unification has reached a critical stage. Despite 75 years of peace, increases in welfare, and growth since World War 2, there is now a growing scepticism of the European agenda from various quarters, most notably embodied in the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. To fully understand the dynamics at work, this book presents an introduction to the development of the political economy of Europe from 1900 to 2020.
The first part of the book provides an overview of European economic and political history from 1900 to the present. It is clear from this history that Europe’s population, and most notably its leaders, have been deeply influenced by ideology during this time. This sets the context for the second part of the book, which takes a closer look at some major paradigms framing European dynamics: (1) the market-oriented paradigm, (2) Marx’s paradigm, and (3) the fascist paradigm. In this part, the essential core of each of these paradigms is presented and critiqued. In the third part, the current bottlenecks of European evolution (the migration crisis, Brexit, rise of new Fascism, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic) are investigated in the light of a possible emergence of a new scientific paradigm. Europe’s role in the global division of labour – its possibility to serve as a role model for the advantages of democratically governing a highly diverse set of populations – is also explained.
This book is an ideal text for students undertaking courses on the political economy of Europe in either economics or politics departments.
What is Political Economy
Diachronic and synchronic approaches - and their formalisation
Introduction: Periodization of European History
1.1 From 1900 to 1945
1.2 From 1945 to 1990
1.3 From 1991 to 2008
1.4 From 2008 to 2020
Introduction: The Impact of Paradigms
2.1 The market-oriented Paradigm
Welfare: From Feudalism to integrated capitalism
2.2 Marx’ Paradigm
Class Struggle: From factories to the New Left
2.3 The Fascist Paradigm
Hierarchy: From racism to planned extinction
2.4 Newly emerging Paradigms
Movements: From progressive political parties to worldwide insurrection
3. Structure and Challenges
3.1 Economic Structure of Europe
3.2 Political Structure of Europe
3.3.1 The Social Coherence Challenge
3.3.2 The Migration Challenge
3.3.3 The Environmental Challenge
3.3.4. The Corona Virus Challenge
3.3.5 Europe’s Place in the Global Division of Labour
4. Afterthoughts on Europe’s Future
4.1 Global Value Chains and continental political units
4.2 The EURO as the world’s currency?
4.3 Europe’s role in global finance