Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century

In This Review

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century

By Mark Leonard
Fourth Estate, 2005
170 pp. $17.14
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Of all the recent books that celebrate the merits and the promise of the European Union, this short work, written by the director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, is the most provocative and thoughtful. One can criticize it for not stressing sufficiently the continuing divisions among the EU's members, the shakiness of its common will, or the flaws of its institutions. Nevertheless, the points Leonard makes are strong, and his pungent style reinforces them. The EU, as he describes it, is "a network rather than a state." It does not, as the neoconservatives argue, ignore power; it redefines power as surveillance. It has created what Leonard describes as a strong economy and currency, and given its smaller members "a measure of control over global markets," thus allowing them to "make their own choices about what to do with their affairs." He contrasts the European use of power with the Bush administration's reliance on "hard power" and sees the world as moving toward a "Union of Unions," bringing regional organizations together in order to "deal with the two most pressing issues on the global agenda: development and peace-keeping." Thus, "the European way of doing will have become the world's," because the United States will "inevitably be sucked into the process of integration."

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