A Common Foreign Policy for Europe? Competing Visions of the CFSP
Edited by John Peterson and Helene Sjursen
Routledge, 1998, 232 pp
Europe in the World: The Persistence of Power Politics
By Maurice Keens-Soper
St. Martin's, 1999, 256 pp
These two works tackle the broader issue of Europe's role in the world. Peterson and Sjursen have put together a volume on the EU in world affairs by examining its institutions, trade and defense, and three case studies of its external relations: Poland, the Mediterranean, and Latin America. Following the book's antirealist bent, Michael Smith's essay asserts rightly that the EU's common external economic policy has political significance but argues wrongly that cooperation in economics makes a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) far less urgent. The flaws of contemporary neorealism notwithstanding, this volume fails to acknowledge that issues of security, force, and intervention remain crucial.
Keens-Soper fortunately understands this last point. His book is a brilliant, learned, and entertaining plea for a more effective Europe, wisely warning that economic globalization cannot be left to itself. He denounces "ineffectual Europa," which has created a single currency but has not "freed foreign affairs from the hold of nationally based states," and delights in creating acronyms such as ere (exemplary and radiant Europe), FNUS (feisty national unities), TASTIE (taxonomically and acronymously stupefying complexities of Europe), and MAMIE (mighty America in Europe). He also criticizes American dominance in NATO, concluding that Europe must take responsibility for forging a stable international system. British ambivalence toward Europe, London's desire for the single market's benefits without the political cost, and the British government's attempt to keep its citizens in the dark about foreign affairs also come under fire. This is a thoughtful and vigorous work.