In This Review

European Integration, 1950-2003: Superstate or New Market Economy?
European Integration, 1950-2003: Superstate or New Market Economy?
By John Gillingham
Cambridge University Press, 2003, 608 pp

This monumental book is in many ways the opposite of Tsoukalis': twice as long, far less interested in security and diplomacy, and held together by a thesis. The least one can say is that it is original. Gillingham is a firm believer in economic liberalism, and he conceives of the history of European integration as a contest between the liberal vision and the interventionist one. It is therefore not surprising that he begins not with the French proposal for a coal and steel community in 1950 but with "the classic liberal solution to the German problem" after the Second World War. He regards Margaret Thatcher's actions and influence as a powerful push toward "the formation of the kind of large, minimally regulated, decentralized market-driven interstate federal union that might have met with the approval of Friedrick Hayek" and portrays Jacques Delors (a Christian Democrat turned Socialist) as the enemy of that dream. Gillingham believes that "a federal Europe can be created democratically, functionally, and through the market -- or not at all." But would "a feeling of European nationhood" result from the institutional evolution of the community into "an efta-like mechanism" to "encourage the emergence of an enterprise society" and "erode pointless hierarchies"? Is it true that the EU has "accomplished little or nothing in the last ten years"? Or that "a political Europe" is needed only as a hedge against the contingency of a large-scale disaster that could threaten the values of European civilization? In any case, Gillingham's belief that these values can be saved only by the economics and politics of classical liberalism is more an ideological position than a well thought out program.