New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 7: Europe and the USA: Trade, Finance and Development
Paul McVeigh INTRODUCTION Since its foundation, there has been intense academic and political speculation regarding the nature of the European Union. Much attention has focused in particular on whether the development of the EU obeys the logic of a liberal intergovernmental bargain between sovereign states (Moravcsik, 1998) or whether it contains its own internal functionalist dynamics towards federalism (Haas, 1958). Aside from debates over ‘form’ there has been signiﬁcant speculation also about the content and outcome of integration. A recurring theme in the literature is the thesis that the EU will develop as a ‘counter’ and ‘rival’ to the USA through the translation of its undoubted economic muscle on to the world political stage (Haseler, 2004). Often this is accompanied by an implicit belief that Europe represents a different type of capitalism to the USA, and that competition between the two regions will necessarily open up divergences on a range of fundamental global issues (Redwood, 2001). On the other hand, liberal intergovernmental theories imply limits to the process of integration arising in the control exercised over the process by European nation-states and divergences in interest between them, precluding certain integrative steps (Moravcsik, 1998). This chapter argues that these two views of the EU offer only partial explanations of the integration process. The ﬁrst suggests a coherence, universality and consensus within the EU which does not exist and to which the second is a welcome antidote. There is a danger of exaggerating the strategic and geo-political impact of Europe’s undoubted...
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