Kenneth Dyson, Klaus H. Goetz, eds. Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. xv + 438 pp. $85.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-19-726295-5.
Michael E. Smith. Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation (Themes in European Governance). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. xv + 291 pp. $85.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-521-83135-2; $36.99 (paper), ISBN 978-0-521-53861-9.
Ronald Tiersky. Europe Today: National Politics, European Integration, and European Security (Europe Today (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc.).). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004. xiii + 515 pp. $101.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7425-2804-8; $44.74 (paper), ISBN 978-0-7425-2805-5.
Reviewed by Thomas Maulucci (Department of History, SUNY-Fredonia)
Published on H-German (June, 2005)
New Books on European Integration and Germany
The three works by political scientists under review here--a textbook, a monograph, and a volume of essays based on conference proceedings--are dissimilar in terms of their format, intended audience, theoretical concerns, and even subject matter. Yet they share at least one important concern, which is exploring the interaction between the European Union and its member states. To what extent has the integration process influenced the state's political systems, institutions, policies, and even polities? Conversely, in what areas do the nation-state and its interests continue to play an independent role in contemporary Europe?
For Ronald Tiersky and his collaborators on the second edition of Europe Today, integration has become so deeply entrenched in recent years that they undertook major editorial changes in their textbook. "It seems to (us) that the 'European' has now trumped the 'national' in so many respects that it is only good pedagogy to begin with the (EU) and Europe's international relations rather than with the country chapters," even if area specialists may feel some sadness about this (p. viii). The first edition from 1999--written before the introduction of the Euro, Eastern expansion, and the debates on a European Constitution--started with the countries first. Anyone familiar with the Euro or with European law, to mention just two issues, will concede that there is much validity in Tiersky's statement. Moreover, even before the recent French and Dutch referendums on the proposed European constitution, the most intense contemporary political debates within individual European countries frequently have involved issues related in some way to the geographic "widening" or institutional "deepening" of the EU.
Europe Today is a textbook intended for undergraduate courses on the European Union or European comparative politics. Its fourteen chapters are authored by experts from various fields, mainly political scientists, but also journalists, international business scholars, and government bureaucrats. Part 1, entitled "Institutions and Issues," begins with a chapter by Tiersky on the European Union's role in the world. It focuses on the recent controversy between the United States and Europe, as well as within the European Union itself, over the Iraq War. The author warns neither to exaggerate European-American differences nor to underestimate the possibility that Europe and America could indeed be drifting apart due to changes in international politics associated with September 11, 2001. John van Oudenaren contributes two lucid chapters on the history of the European Union from its origins to the present and on EU enlargement since the end of the Cold War. As he points out, the 2004 expansion indicated that Eastern European countries did belong to the European club but also raised serious questions about how "Europe" should be defined and how the European Union's institutions should function. Erik Jones's discussion of the European Monetary Union (EMU) concludes that the Euro is now firmly established, so the main challenge facing the single currency is for member states to "institutionalize some mechanisms for discretion over the rules" for macroeconomic policy in order to provide more flexibility (p. 83). Jeffrey Simon and Sean Kay discuss NATO since the end of the Cold War and that alliance's attempts to redefine its mission. Karen J. Atler provides a very useful discussion of European law.
In the most provocative chapter of part 1, entitled "Keep Out!", Jochen Lorentzen argues that the European Union's migration and trade policies discriminate against the developing world. In particular, "by keeping labor mobility off the globalization agenda, rich countries deprive poorer countries of benefits. This is brutally selfish, curiously shortsighted, and totally inconsistent with growing economic interdependence in the world" (pp. 146-147). Lorentzen's argument has merit, and the entire chapter is certain to stimulate classroom discussion. However, he puts too much weight on latent racism, nationalism, and hypocrisy among EU politicians and citizens for this state of affairs and too little on legitimate fears about the economic and social consequences of globalization. As Ray Taras writes in his chapter on Poland (in part 2), Western European countries fear large scale immigration from the new Eastern EU members as well as from the developing world (pp. 480-482). Conversely, these eastern states are magnets for businesses, and a possible cause of unemployment in the western states, due to their low labor costs.
This points to one of the textbook's few glaring deficits. With the exception of Jones's chapter on the EMU, there is a comparative lack of a systematic discussion of the extent to which the European Union currently has achieved the goal of the 1986 Single European Act to establish the free flow of goods, services, people, and capital. For example, the book would have profited from a chapter on the social aspects of integration that focused on themes like mobility in the European labor market and higher education systems, "European citizenship," as well as changes in domestic social welfare programs. Purely economic issues, including competition; developmental policies; and telecommunications and utilities policies are other suitable topics for additional coverage, as is environmental policy.
Part 2 of Europe Today concentrates on individual countries and regions. Essays on all of the major EU members--Germany (Helga Welsh), France (Robert Graham), the United Kingdom (Michael Mannin), Italy (Patrick McCarthy with Mark Gilbert and Emanuela Poli), Spain (Paul Heywood), and Poland (Taras)--competently discuss the topic, as do the essays on the four Scandinavian states (Eric S. Einhorn and John Logue). Some of these chapters give more weight to purely domestic issues than others, but their main focus is on the relationship between their country and the European Union. The smaller EU members, on the other hand, are underrepresented, as are those parts of Europe that are currently outside of the European Union. "Europe" is a political, not a geographic concept, in this textbook. In the interests of cohesion not every country can or should be covered, and issues involving the non-EU members are dealt with adequately in part 1. However, the issue of "small" versus "large" states in the European Union seems important enough conceptually to justify the inclusion of a few more "small" states, with the Benelux countries as leading candidates for their own chapter.
Despite these criticisms, the essays in Europe Today are well written and often stimulating, and the textbook has clearly profited from the collaborative approach. Almost all of the chapters have endnotes as well as suggestions for further reading in English. Each chapter on a country or geographic region starts off with a table of basic information like its population, GDP, and political parties. The book itself comes with numerous maps, charts, tables, explanatory text-boxes, and short primary sources, and also provides a handy glossary of EU terms and a detailed index. Another very useful feature for the classroom is a website containing hundreds of links maintained by students at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies (SIAS) Bologna Center. It supplements both this volume and the other titles in the broader Europe Today series published by Rowman and Littlefield. Europe Today is suitable for advanced undergraduates; moreover, those teaching about contemporary Europe will find it a very useful work to have on their bookshelves.
In his examination of the evolution of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Michael E. Smith (in Europe's Foreign and Security Policy) agrees that integration produced fundamental changes in the way nation states act. "Through complex processes of institutionalization, the EU has fundamentally changed the way its member states define and pursue their interests" (p. 263). Especially in light of the recent controversies over the Iraq War, the CFSP at first glance seems like a case study ill suited to prove this point. As demonstrated as early as 1954, with the demise of plans for a European Defense Community, foreign and security policy are arguably the areas in which EU states have had the most difficulty historically in developing common strategies. Along with taxation and environmental policy, they are currently the only policy areas that still require a unanimous vote from all of the member states in the EU Council.
In Smith's study, however, the impact of the CFSP on the outside world is secondary to the effect it has had in promoting intergovernmental cooperation within the European Union. In fact, its main rationale has always been to prevent conflict over international affairs from tearing apart the member states and thereby harming the large project of integration. Confidence-building measures and the development of broad policy norms (e.g. promoting democracy and human rights) help increase cohesion between the members and limit possible damages to the European Union from any individual state's foreign or security policies. In addition, ill-conceived CFSP policies or pronouncements could harm relations with important foreign partners of the European Union and thereby negatively affect its economic goals. Seen from the perspective of internal coordination and both internal and external damage limitation, the CFSP appears much more successful than when it is viewed, like most analysts tend to, as an attempt to create active policies and instruments for a European "super state." Indeed, Smith questions whether the European Union should continue to develop its own military capabilities since this might create rifts within the union as well as between it and NATO, and also devalue its ability to use "soft" (e.g. diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian) power abroad (pp. 258-261).
Smith also convincingly argues that the European Union's external policies developed in ways that cannot be explained adequately by most political science theories on international cooperation. Contrary to the assumption held by the "realists" that crises and external threats are the main factors promoting cooperation, "there is no consistent relationship between threats and common action" in the history of the CFSP. The European Union's lack of a significant coordinated reaction to the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990-91 is one example of this fact (p. 245). Instead, the European Union usually acts in foreign or security policy only after "common principles and understandings" have been reached following intensive consultations, as indicated by its policies towards South Africa and Central America. Collective actions are frequently institutionalized based on existing precedents (pp. 245-246). He also believes that "liberal" international relations theories that try to explain the European Union's policies in reference to common norms or values cannot explain adequately how actual policies were developed based on these norms (pp. 21-22). Smith does not posit any monocausal theoretical explanations of the CFSP. However, drawing on "new institutionalist" theory, he emphasizes, throughout his study, that institutional development ("institutionalism") and cooperation are closely linked and help promote one another.
The bulk of his study outlines exactly this interrelationship between the development of the CFSP's institutions and intergovernmental cooperation on external relations. The idea behind the CFSP originated in response to the European Community's inability to develop a common position on the 1967 Middle East crisis. The 1970 Luxembourg Report established a framework for "European Political Cooperation" (EPC) outside of normal EC structures. The EPC, modeled closely on the 1963 Franco-German Treaty of Friendship, called for regular consultations between the European Community's foreign ministers. Although initial expectations were low, the EPC initiated extensive discussions on the Middle East, East-West relations, and other issues. It also began coordinating the European Union's policies, for example, at the United Nations and in dialogue with the United States. By 1973, the EPC had been enhanced by new information sharing procedures, including the incorporation of the member states' embassies into the process and the development of the COREU encrypted telex network. These measures were not only important as confidence-building measures, but also in socializing European elites to the idea of a common foreign policy. The period 1977-86 was important for developing many of the EPC's norms, both procedural and (in the 1981 London Report) substantive. The latter included both the aforementioned objective of "damage limitation" and emphasis on "collective values" and "long-term goals" in European foreign policy.
Then in 1991 the Maastricht Treaty replaced the EPC with the CFSP, which came into being in 1993 as the European Union's "second pillar." Although the CFSP was still largely intergovernmental and still subject to unanimity in the Council, the Maastricht Treaty stipulated that the European Union's foreign policy goals and values were to be pursued through "common positions" and "joint actions." In 1997 the Treaty of Amsterdam created a CFSP High Commissioner and a new policy instrument called the "common strategy." Moreover, for the first time this process was supposed to include security issues, which hitherto had been largely avoided due to their contentious nature. In 1999, the EU Helsinki Summit even called for the creation of a European peacekeeping force.
Smith's book is important for anyone seeking to understand the historical development and functioning of the CFSP as an institution. It also makes the key point that this policy serves primarily to promote internal cohesion in the European Union. However, its main focus is neither on major issues in the European Union's foreign policy nor on the relationship between the CFSP and the respective policies of the individual member states, although the extensive bibliography is a great aid for investigating these questions in more detail.
The other work under consideration here is decidedly more cautious about the impact of European integration on the European nation state. Significantly, it focuses on Germany, which is often seen as a state whose interests, institutions, and policies coincide very closely with those of the European Union. Kenneth Dyson, Klaus H. Goetz, and their co-authors, in Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint, examine the question of "Europeanization." Dyson and Goetz define this as "a complex interactive 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' process in which domestic polities, politics and public polices are shaped by European integration and in which domestic actors use European integration to shape the domestic agenda" (p. 20). Although there are significant areas of overlap, studying the "Europeanization" of Germany obviously is not the same thing as, for example, examining Germany's policies on European integration or its role in the European Union. In his overview of the relatively new field of "Euroepanization" theory, Jeffrey J. Anderson writes that "the empirical studies in this volume, taken as a whole, suggest that the reformulation of domestic interests and identities in response to integration pressures remains more hypothetical than real." While Germany has often been able to shape European Union policy by "uploading" its own preferences, "downloading" from the European Union to Germany--or in other words the "Europeanization" of Germany--is far less frequent in practice and contingent on the needs of domestic actors (p. 52).
"At the risk of oversimplification", write Dyson and Goetz, "one may contrast Europeanized public policies with a semi-Europeanized polity and a largely non-Europeanized politics" (pp. 364). By far the strongest, albeit still mixed, "Europeanization" effects have taken place in the realm of policy, as demonstrated in the areas of the environment (Rudiger K. W. Wurzel), competition policy (Martin Lodge), electricity and telecommunications (Simon Bulmer, David Dolowitz, Peter Humphreys, and Stephen Padgett), social policy (Markus Haverland), justice and home affairs (Jorg Monar), foreign and security policy (Alister Miskimmon and William E. Paterson), and overall economic policy (Dyson). This is not surprising, among other reasons, since Germany has to implement European Union policies domestically and because of Germany's historic ability in many cases to "upload" its own preferences into those policies.
On the other hand, the German polity, represented here by essays on the federal executive (Goetz), Bundestag (Thomas Saalfeld), the German states (Charlie Jeffrey), and legal system (Gunnar Folke Schuppert), does not have clear-cut incentives to Europeanize. For these institutions, "Europeanization" is normally dictated by opportunities to increase their own domestic influence. Those most heavily "Europeanized" are the civil service, the states (who are especially worried about losing competencies to the European Union), and the Bundesbank (due to the EMU). On the other hand, European issues normally take a low profile in German electoral politics and have an unclear relationship at best with domestic problems in the mind of German voters. This means that politicians in the federal executive and the Bundestag see only limited benefits in improving their direction and oversight of the government's European affairs. While Schuppert demonstrates the broad "Europeanization" of the German legal system, Dyson and Goetz point out that the Federal Constitution Court, until quite recently, displayed great reluctance about accepting the precedence of the European Court of Justice in matters of EU law (p. 356).
By far the least "Europeanized" of the three areas under consideration here is German politics. Neither the German party system (Oskar Niedermayer) nor media landscape (Katrin Voltmer and Christiane Eilders) have been shaped substantially by European issues. Voltmer and Eilders blame German and European political elites, with their low incentive for addressing EU issues, in no small part for the limited coverage of the European Union in the German media and the associated lack of informed public debate over European issues (pp. 195-197). According to Rainer Eising, German interest groups too have had limited incentive to change their way of doing things in response to European integration.
Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint also argues that in recent years it has become unclear that European and German institutions and policies are still a "good fit," as is commonly assumed. Due to the European Union's expansion, Germany's ability to influence the integration process by using its own "soft power" or by cooperating with the old "core" of EU states has become much more limited. German awareness of the negative aspects of the integration process, and in particular of how it has narrowed domestic political options, is now more acute. The Schrder government has been more assertive in stressing Germany's national interests. Finally, there are signs that European integration is becoming a contentious domestic issue again for the first time since the 1950s, although the extent to which this will become a widespread phenomenon is uncertain.
Unfortunately, the volume does not directly investigate German public opinion towards "Europe" outside of the framework of political organizations and media. An in-depth examination of this issue would have gone far towards buttressing one of the volume's main theses, namely that integration since the 1960s has been largely a non-partisan elite-driven process in Germany aided by a "permissive popular consensus" (p. 7). The authors fear that this constellation is now in danger of eroding and that significant tensions may develop due to the gap between Germany's Europeanized policies and non-Europeanized political system. But one of the key questions, as they themselves recognize (p. 374), is whether there has been no contentious debate over European integration because the public largely approves of the process and thereby has a relatively high tolerance for possible disadvantages associated with it. Some studies of popular opinion in the old Federal Republic, from the 1980s and early 1990s, demonstrated that many West Germans stressed their European and sometimes their regional identities, to no small extent because they found their national identity problematic due to contemporary German history. On the other hand, until recently there has been little serious public debate in Germany about the pros and cons of the unification process that might help us determine whether this remains true today. The extent to which the German population has come to think of itself in "European" terms after 1945, including through socialization by the education system, in my opinion, is an aspect of "Europeanization" that merits considerable further study.
Nonetheless, one of the great merits of Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint is exactly how it questions the dual assumptions that German and European interests largely coincide almost by nature and that the German political system has "co-evolved" along with the European Union. Both international and comparative historians also will find much inspiration for their own research agendas not only in these general conclusions but also in the volume's case studies of "Europeanization."
. Mary Fulbrook summarizes these findings in German National Identity after the Holocaust (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999), pp. 198-202.
. The French rejection of the EU constitution may have sparked such a debate. At the very least there are indications that it has created considerable uncertainty among the German public about the EU's current course. For example, a June 4, 2005, poll for FOCUS Magazine indicated only 44 percent support for the EU consitution in Germany, whereas before the French vote this figure had been 52 percent. URL: http://focus.msn.de/hps/fol/newsausgabe/newsausgabe.htm?id=15222.
If there is additional discussion of this review, you may access it through the network, at: https://networks.h-net.org/h-german.
Thomas Maulucci. Review of Dyson, Kenneth; Goetz, Klaus H., eds., Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint and
Smith, Michael E., Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation (Themes in European Governance) and
Tiersky, Ronald, Europe Today: National Politics, European Integration, and European Security (Europe Today (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc.).).
H-German, H-Net Reviews.
Copyright © 2005 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.