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Review Essay

The European Disunion

How the Continent Lost 
Its Way

In This Review

The Politics of Everyday Europe: Constructing Authority in the European Union
The Politics of Everyday Europe: Constructing Authority in the European Union
By Kathleen R. McNamara
Oxford University Press, 2015, 224 pp. Purchase

The EU is under siege. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has tested the single-border principle at the core of the union. The ongoing financial crisis in Greece has strained the single currency. The United Kingdom will soon hold a referendum on whether or not to exit the EU. The survival of an EU with a single border, a single currency, and a stable membership appears less likely than ever before.

European federalists dismiss these problems as growing pains. The EU is an incredibly ambitious work in progress, they note, one that is rooted in a vision of Europe that challenges deep-seated notions of sovereignty and statehood. Surveying the destruction during World War II, Jean Monnet, considered by many to be a founding father of the EU, wrote, “There will be no peace in Europe if the states are reconstituted on the basis

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