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Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe

Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Giddens

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Product Description

Product Description

A "United States of Europe", Winston Churchill proposed in 1946, could "as if by a miracle transform" that "turbulent and mighty continent". "In this way only", he continued, "will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living".

Today, nearly seventy years later, over 500 million people live in the member states of the European Union – a greater number than in any other political community save for China and India. The currency of the Union, the euro, is used in economic transactions world-wide. Yet the EU is mired in the greatest crisis of its history, one that threatens its very existence as an entity able to have an impact upon world affairs. Europe no longer seems so mighty, instead but faces the threat of becoming an irrelevant backwater or, worse, once again the scene of turbulent conflicts. Divisions are arising all over Europe, while the popularity of the Union sinks. How can this situation be turned around?

It is a mistake, argues Anthony Giddens, to see the misfortunes of the euro as the sole source of Europe's malaise. The Union faces problems shared by most or all of the developed states of the world. Reform in Europe must go far beyond stabilizing the euro, formidable and fraught though that task may be. Introducing an array of new ideas, Giddens suggests this is the time for a far-reaching rethink of the European project as a whole.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1952 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (18 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IRFJ11E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,991 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern contributors in the field of sociology, the author of at least 34 books, published in at least 29 languages, issuing on average more than one book every year. Giddens is "the fifth most-referenced author of books in the humanities".
Currently Giddens serves as Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Discussion of a United Europe 3 Jun 2014
By Lynn Ellingwood - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anthony Gibbons is a pro-European union advocate who is disturbed at the recent turn of events after the financial crisis of 2007. He sees Europe as a potential backwater or increasingly irrelevant. But is that really true? This is a book that brings up some relevant points but the lack of cohesive government and the one standard of money is a loser in my opinion. Countries tied together while trying to maintain their own nationally identity is a loser in my opinion. Anthony Giddens point of view is probably more informed than mine and good to read.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but lacking actionable insight 26 May 2014
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe" by Anthony Giddens lays out many of the issues affecting Europe, and the idea of Europe. What it lacks is a clear point of view and it leaves the reader ultimately thirsting for more substance.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good 6 May 2014
By Joseph Oppenheim - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book makes a pretty good case for the challenges Europe faces in the coming years as it recovers from the 2008 financial crash and tackles with what the EU is and can be, and the future of the Euro.
The author maintains that great creativity must be used as the recovery is slow and it can't just rely on some normal course of events to handle the job.

He actually wants Europe to look to the US for direction, as our economy is currently the best in the world and we've confronted immigration and done pretty well, for example.
Some points from the book....

1. Europe is no longer mighty, but still must face some internal differences. Most countries have mounted up enormous debt and the Welfare state approach which has existed for years,can't stay that way because governments can't afford to do so without major changes, like with pensions, using a more defined contribution approach as the US does. The author describes such an eventuality as a social investment state - embrace opportunity and risk - flexsecurity.

2. The three main EU institutions are the Commission, Council and Parliament. EU1 has evolved into EU2, where rule, so to speak, is decided, but that's the problem - no voting by all EU people, just basically out of sight with basically France and Germany's leaders making the decisions.

3 Climate change is big, but the EU is mixed up. It should evolve into renewable energy like getting off coal first since that is the worst pollutant, so even advance more into fracking as the US is doing, since natural gas can replace coal. The author sees coal as worse than nuclear.

4. The IMF has turned into a big player, also the ECB. But, unlike the US, there is no EU bond like US Treasuries.

5. The author thinks an economic federalism has to occur, call it EU3. Each state must have some voice. It could take up to ten years.

6. English should be made the official EU language, with everyone speaking/writing both English and their native country's language.

7. The author talks about a representative democracy, but with more visibility, a monitory democracy, maybe incorporating advances in social media....a global village. Embrace a re-industrialization like the US - 3D printing, etc.

8. Austerity is bad, but still reform is necessary in most states.

9. Smart growth needed - reform education, innovation, R&D, information and communication technologies.

10. Take action on tax havens and tax avoidance. Income inequality is a problem.

11. Interculturism must replace multiculturalism in a globalized world - accepting people as different, not expecting assimilation.

12. The author, basically agreeing that China is more democratic than the US. The US being a showbiz democracy, more about showmanship than leadership, while China has deep discussions before agreeing on a 5 year plan.

13. The EU tried to be in the forefront on climate change, wanting to establish a carbon tax and have a trading system, but it ran into all kinds of problems, with any reduction of emissions mostly due to the recession. CA has had more success with such a trading system. Obama met with major nations and at least came up with in informal agreement, where the dysfunctional EU was essentially left out. So, basically the world has done nothing to reduce emissions, while also we have entered an anthropocene age, where humans have influenced nature everywhere. Conservation is no longer relevant, must use artificial means like biotechnology to recreate what has been lost. Again, the EU is especially dependent on more creatively doing things, rather than looking to the past.

14. As for energy, the EU is messed up. Coal is the worst, and reducing nuclear energy just means greater use of coal, plus natural gas is best until renewables dominate, but EU lags the US in fracking knowledge.

Anyway, the book is very good in showing how Europe is facing a critical time where it faces many challenges while not very united as needed, so must embark on more creativity to solve the problems, hence even more important to look to the US, which does lead in creativity even with its dysfunctional government.
3.0 out of 5 stars Giddens Disappointing 3 May 2014
By Birgitta Nedelmann - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is a reasonably good summary of the last discussions on the EU, but there is hardly anything new under the EU sky. This is disappointing for a sociologist so much known worldwide
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth your while, but extremely arguable 28 April 2014
By Neal C. Reynolds - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't have the necessary background and knowledge to comment extensibely on this erudite volume, but it very obviously is one to be read by those concerned with the political climate in Europe. College students will find it a book to study extensively and possibly write papers commenting on Giddens' statements. There's much that can be learned, but carefully evaluated. I certainly wouldn't recommend reading and swallowing this without reading other learned commentaries.
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