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Europe: The State of the Union [Hardcover]

Anand Menon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2008
The European Union is perhaps the least well understood political system in the world today. Europe: The State of the Union cuts through the jargon to offer a clear and concise assessment of this unique institution. This pioneering account explains not only what the EU is, what it does and how well it does it, but also why politicians have so little interest in explaining its workings to the public. Anand Menon avoids the excesses of both ardent Europhiles and sworn enemies of European integration, whose respective dreams of a federalist future and nightmares of a European superstate have so subverted public discussion. While pointing out the Union's shortcomings, he argues that the EU is an ingenious and necessary tool of its member states, helping them address myriad complex policy problems they would not be able to handle alone. Europe: The State of the Union is an urgent and rigorous evaluation of the great strengths - and profound weaknesses - of European integration.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; First Edition edition (1 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843544792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843544791
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 451,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Anand Menon is Professor of European Politics and Director of the European Research Institute at the University of Birmingham. He was previously at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. He has worked for the West European Union for Security Studies in Paris, has been a consultant to the World Bank and a NATO Research Fellow. Menon also advises the US State department and the CIA on the subject of European Politics.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Balanced 3 Dec 2008
A great read for those who approach the EU with an open mind: it is one of the very few books on the subject that does the same. That Anand Manon writes with such intellectual rigor is an added bonus. He repeatedly shuns partisan ideology and lambastes both eurosceptic and europhile camps for misunderstanding and misrepresenting the Union. He emphasises the significant practical benefits it provides, whilst suggesting that the EU's future success (and survival) lies in being useful and boring, rather than evolutionary and divisive. Quite dry in places, but those used to similar books will find it well-written and accessible in comparison to most. In all, Manon's in-depth analysis is a refreshing change from all of the UKIP and federalist manifestos floating around.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author is no starry-eyed apologist for a mythical European dream, nor does he allow himself the indulgence of pandering to the ignorance of Euroscepticism.

This book does precisely what it promises, and delivers a full and frank assessment of the current 'State of the Union' (a clever set of allusions and analogies).

Prof Menon pulls no punches, and exposes the weak underbelly of much of the EU's decision making processes, illustrating his theses with first hand insights into key events.

This book is the first real attempt I know to kick start a real debate about the future direction of Europe. It will "please" very few of its readers, because it manages to remain remarkably even-handed, and one of the defining characteristics of the 'European' argument in modern Britain is that it is intrinsically presented in a divisive manner, but it is certainly a stimulating and challenging read, and an extremely well-informed one too.

If every young undergraduate could read this work and digest but a fraction of the in-depth understanding of the workings of Europe, we might have a better chance of holding a genuine debate on 'where next in Europe?'. It is a discussion we need to have.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Common 22 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Europe - The State of the Union

By Anand Menon

A review by the Cote d'Azur Men's Book Club

Europe is an enigma, a political puzzle and a Lady Bountiful to thousands of enlightened landowners and agriculture workers to whom the 23 strong quazi State hands out millions of Euros.
Is it that difficult to be even -handed to all member States and does it matter? Well, it depends on where you were either born or live.
Fifty year after the launch of the Common Market based on a peace pact that saw France and Germany living in harmony , the Brussels- based bureaucracy has some 30,000 employees, many of them of a very high standard and a Parliament schizophrenic or diplomatic enough to boast two debating chambers in France and Brussels
Common Market, did you say? Or European Economic Community or European Union, or European Commission, or, well, whatever the mandarins want to call it. Its Constitution recently rejected by the peoples of France and Holland, the EU marches on with the arrogance of a General De Gaulle.
Yet the Union has reached a kind of permanence and everyone in the Cote d'Azur Book Club - an international crowd - supports it even though the EU still lacks political power. That is its biggest problem. As Henry Kissinger said "Who do I speak to, what is his phone number?"
Members spent time discussing the EU's values, or lack of them, and its future and the Turkish question. Will the integration of States like the Ukraine, Russia and some North African be a possibility or a reality?
Where goest though, Europe? Could it become Eurasia, a world state of Orwellian proportions?
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