Kindleberger’s theory of hegemonic stability states that fixed exchange rate regimes require a leader that will provide it with disproportionate resources to ensure stability. Applying his theory to European monetary cooperation, we argue that, like the tools of Goethe’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” European Monetary Union was constructed as a “self-regulating system,” and it threatens to run amok without a hegemonic leader. Germany has exercised “soft hegemony” in Europe, providing the European Union with disproportionate resources to stabilize the single market. It has the capability to be the Eurozone’s leader. But, by 2017, blinded by its ordoliberal ideology, i t refused to do so, instead placing the burden of cooperation on the weak. If Germany continues to refuse to play the role of the hegemonic leader, European Monetary Union faces collapse.
A Cautionary Tale
Beverly Crawford Ames and Armon Rezai
Alan C. Walker
The subordination of social policy to economic policy has been a continuous theme in the postwar history of British social policy (Wootton, 1955; Titmuss, 1967; Townsend, 1975; Walker, 1984; Hill, 1996). This distorted relationship has consistently cast doubt upon the autonomy of social policy, which has attracted labels such as the 'poor person's economic policy' and the 'handmaiden' of economic policy. Looking beyond the parochial vagaries of British social policy it is clear that the same problem shackles social policy in other European countries and, especially, at the European level. Indeed it is becoming increasingly clear that unless something can be done to reconstitute the relationship between economic and social policy the European project itself will lose contact with the everyday concerns of citizens as it concentrates overly on economic and monetary union (EMU) and becomes primarily a 'Bankers' Europe'. Such concerns have been expressed by senior European policy makers but, so far, there is no sign of a strategy to overcome the problem.
Having inherited high and increasing interest rates on public debt from its predecessor, the Monti government had to bring these yields down to sustainable levels and to push through the reforms that the Berlusconi government had abandoned. This article discusses the strategies that the Monti government employed to achieve these goals. It also analyzes the government?s international actions and finds that its international credibility was a subtle but significant asset. Although it did not necessarily acquire greater flexibility in its dealings with Italy?s international partners, the Monti government engaged in negotiations with the German government and the European Central Bank in an effort to help to defuse the Italian (and European) government debt crisis.
On 1 July 2003, Italy assumed for the seventh time the presidency of
the European Union. The previous Italian presidency was held during
the first semester of 1996 under the leadership of Romano Prodi. For
various reasons, which will be explored in the first section of this
chapter, the role of the presidency of the EU has been of great political
importance not only in Europe but also on domestic and international
levels. Every member state has, in its own history, experienced
an EU presidency that was more or less successful and that helped
build its European reputation. Beyond producing effective reports, the
previous six Italian presidencies contributed to the construction of the
image of a country that, although politically weak, identified strongly
with the values and objectives of European integration. The 1996
presidency, marked by salient issues such as the start of intergovernmental
negotiations that led to the Treaty of Amsterdam, growth and
employment, and preparation for monetary union, had even managed
to increase Italy’s European credibility.
On 1 January 1999, the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was created. The currencies of 12 member countries of the European Union (EU) were first irrevocably fixed and then replaced by one European currency, the euro, earlier than the deadline of 1 July 2002. According to Article 2 of the Maastricht Treaty the aim of EMU is to promote ‘sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, a high degree of convergence of economic performance, a high level of employment and of social protection, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States.’ From this one may expect a positive relationship between EMU and the social environment.
Henning Tewes, Germany, Civilian Power and the New Europe. Enlarging NATO and the European Union (New York: Palgrave, 2002)
Review by James Sperling
Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003)
Review by Eric Langenbacher
Maria Höhn, GIs and Fräuleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)
Review by Atina Grossmann
James McAllister, No Exit: America and the German Problem, 1943-1954, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2002)
Review by Robert Gerald Livingston
Hubert Zimmermann, Money and Security: Troops, Monetary Policy, and West Germany’s Relations to the United States and the United Kingdom, 1950-1971 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Review by Thomas Banchoff
An outcome of the EUropeanization in rural Lithuania?
Ida Harboe Knudsen
This article focuses on small-scale farming in Lithuania in light of the country's European Union (EU) entrance in 2004. Although the EU, together with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, had encouraged a rapid privatization of the former collective farms, the result was not an economically viable farming sector, but a multitude of unspecialized farms run by ageing farmers with but a single cow. These farmers are now viewed as the main obstacle to further development and are encouraged to retire. However, the farmers have proven reluctant to do so. Looking at different attempts to reduce the number of small farms, the article analyzes how the outcomes of the EU programs often are quite different from what was originally intended. Such processes are coined as EUropeanization: a term that embraces how the EU is interpreted and implemented in daily life by the farmers.
Wolfgang Beck and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
In this article we will focus on the political role of citizens in the ongoing process of European unification. The standard interpretations of unification suggest that this process is the outcome of a force of intrinsic necessity. Paving the way for the internal market, monetary and fiscal harmonisation should, therefore, lead to the formation of a political community. We do not accept such a post-Hegelian interpretation, however. This process is a consequence of chosen political priorities. In our opinion these should prioritise the development of political relations, referring to democratically based values in order to determine the starting points for economic, welfare and cultural policies. But, according to Fritz Scharpf, this has not been the case. The politics of the Union have paved the way for the free market system - mainly as a response to the principle of profit maximising - resulting in a decline, in the long run, of the politics with which to develop conditions for a political community.
The Case of the Greek Indiginant Movement
In 2011 numerous 'Occupy' and anti-austerity protests took place across Europe and the United States. Passionate indignation at the failure of political elites became a mobilizing force against formal political institutions. In Greece a mass movement known as the Aganaktismeni (the Indignant) became the main agent of social resistance to the memorandum signed by the Greek government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The Greek movement did not take the form of a social movement sharing a collective identity. Left-wing protestors played a prominent role. Protestors embracing right-wing populist frames also participated actively in collective mobilizations, while segments of the extreme right attempted to manipulate rage to their advantage. During the Greek Indignant movement civil society remained a terrain contested by conflicting political forces. This unique feature of the Greek movement posed a completely different challenge to the principles of diversity and inclusiveness than the one debated within the Spanish Indignados and the Occupy protests. Furthermore, it illustrates that rage and indignation may spark dissimilar forms of political contention. Hence, rage and indignation do not merely motivate ‘passive citizens’ to participate in collective protest. They are linked to cognitive frames and individual preferences, which influence protestors’ claims and mobilizations’ political outcomes. Accordingly, advances in democratization and inclusive citizenship are only one of the possible outcomes of mobilizations prompted by rage and indignation.