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Rush to union [electronic resource] : understanding the European federal bargain /
David McKay.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
description
viii, 192 p. : ill.
ISBN
0198280580 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
corporate subject
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
isbn
0198280580 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 15, 2007).
catalogue key
7370057
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [179]-186) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-04-01:
McKay extends William Riker's theory of federalism to assess the origins and viability of political unions. For the European Union (EU), he opposes those who think it preordained to evolve into a single nation-state. His rational choice/realist approach argues that federations are not simply willed but are byproducts of interest (not ideas) forged out of the political and economic necessities of component states. Politicians, he contends, do not cede authority, power, or resources voluntarily, unless the benefits of doing so exceed the cost. Hence, federations may succeed only if the benefits of remaining in the federation exceed the costs to member states, and nascent federations break up if the costs of remaining exceed the benefits derived by member states. Although McKay concedes that the second assumption may not yet be testable (at least for the EU) he finds ample evidence supporting the first. The book has two parts. The first traces common economic inflation of the 1980s and the deliberate role played by political elites of the member states in adopting a single European currency and establishing a bank to control future EU inflation. In the second, McKay assesses the link between fiscal and political centralization, and contrasts EU's viability with other federations (e.g., the US). He argues that EU can prevail only if a relatively strong federal government is held accountable through a Europe-wide centralized political party system operating at the EU parliamentary level. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. M. Pufong Valdosta State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Elegant ... His illuminating and refreshingly eclectic approach borrows equally from rational choice theory and the realist approach in international relations.'Times Higher Education Supplement
McKay's synthesis of European developments is succinct, persuasive within its own terms of reference, and challenging, but would require a far more rigorous evaluation of identity and politics to be complete. - Derek Urwin. Regional and Federal Studies.
'Elegant ... His illuminating and refreshingly eclectic approach borrows equally from rational choice theory and the realist approach in international relations.'Times Higher Education SupplementMcKay's synthesis of European developments is succinct, persuasive within its own terms of reference, and challenging, but would require a far more rigorous evaluation of identity and politics to be complete. - Derek Urwin. Regional & Federal Studies.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1997
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Summaries
Long Description
The decision at Maastricht to create a political union and, in particular, to move towards a single currency, constitutes something of an intellectual puzzle. Why did the Europeans decide to create this union, and what are the chances of its succeeding? This book answers these questions by adapting William Riker's theory of federalism to the European case. It concludes that in the absence of fundamental political changes, European Union is not tenable.
Long Description
The decision of Maastricht to create a political union and in particular to move towards a single currency constitutes something of an intellectual puzzle. Why did political leaders agree to cede the most important economic function of the modern state to a supernational authority? And why was the decision taken in 1991 rather than 1981 or 1961? This book attempts to answer these questions by adapting William Rikers's federalism theory to the European case. Part I of the book makes the claim that by the late 1980s political elites in all the EU member states had become convinced that inflation must be controlled at all costs and that the only way of ensuring this was the adoption of a single currency policy policed by an independant European bank. Alternative policies based on economic nationalism were discredited and no major political party in any of the EU states dissented from the single currency solution. The commitment to the resultingfederal bargain became evident during the currency crisis of 1992 and 1993 when governments of both left and right pursued deflationary policies in the midst of a recession in order to retain their credibility as potential candidates for monetary union. Part II considers the viability of union by examining the relationship between fiscal centralization and political centralization in Europe and in other federations. It is argued that given the variations among member states, European union can only work with a relatively strong federal government accountable via Europe-wide political parties operating in a powerful European Parliament. The book concludes that European political union is not tenable in the absence of these fundamentalchanges.
Main Description
The decision of Maastricht to create a political union and in particular to move towards a single currency constitutes something of an intellectual puzzle. Why did political leaders agree to cede the most important economic function of the modern state to a supernational authority? And whywas the decision taken in 1991 rather than 1981 or 1961? This book attempts to answer these questions by adapting William Rikers's federalism theory to the European case. Part I of the book makes the claim that by the late 1980s political elites in all the EU member states had become convinced that inflation must be controlled at all costs and that the only way of ensuring this was the adoption of a single currency policy policed by an independant European bank.Alternative policies based on economic nationalism were discredited and no major political party in any of the EU states dissented from the single currency solution. The commitment to the resulting federal bargain became evident during the currency crisis of 1992 and 1993 when governments of bothleft and right pursued deflationary policies in the midst of a recession in order to retain their credibility as potential candidates for monetary union. Part II considers the viability of union by examining the relationship between fiscal centralization and political centralization in Europe and in other federations. It is argued that given the variations among member states, European union can only work with a relatively strong federal governmentaccountable via Europe-wide political parties operating in a powerful European Parliament. The book concludes that European political union is not tenable in the absence of these fundamental changes.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Abbreviations
On the Origins of European Unionp. 1
The Puzzle of European Unionp. 3
Federal Theory and European Unionp. 14
Understanding European Union I: 1945-1982p. 36
Understanding European Union II: 1983-1992p. 67
Aftermath, 1992 and 1993p. 101
On the Viability of Political Unionsp. 121
Theoryp. 123
Applicationsp. 137
Prospects for the European Federal Bargainp. 172
Bibliographyp. 179
Indexp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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