Most analysts have addressed the euro crisis as an economic issue. Yet everyone concedes that its most important causes, consequences, and remedies are essentially political. This is one of the first books that addresses the deeper political significance of the crisis, focusing primarily on Europe’s troubled relationship with Greece and highlighting the ways in which southern European political systems, societies, and economies have long functioned according to fundamentally different rules from those followed elsewhere in Europe. Since the outbreak of the crisis, the EU has been attempting to force convergence from the center, having replaced the International Monetary Fund as the world’s most important guarantor of financial rectitude. Yet in many ways, the result has been greater divergence, as European countries struggle with debt and austerity measures. Absent a major push toward a European federal state, the authors portray a stark choice for Greece: retreat from European integration, or lose many of the attributes of a sovereign state.