Europe's Rising Regionalism

Courtesy Reuters


The nation-state is too big to run everyday life, and too small to manage international affairs. So say many of Europe's regional and big-city leaders, who are themselves gaining influence and authority. European cities and regional governments are acquiring bigger budgets and developing more professional bureaucracies. National cultures are being squeezed between a broader popular culture and briskly reviving regional cultures.

Europeans are finding national interests hard to see, let alone define. The role of European governments is just as ambiguous. National leaders had an easier time during the Cold War, when, thanks to NATO, they could satisfy the essential need, military security. But in this transitional time, economic security is far more pressing, and far more elusive. A second industrial revolution is causing serious social dislocations. The nation-state's inability to keep unemployment at a tolerable level while maintaining the social safety net has accelerated Europe's growing

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