Towards an Imperfect Union: A Conservative Case for the EU

In This Review

Towards an Imperfect Union: A Conservative Case for the EU
By Dalibor Rohac
Rowman & Littlefield, 2016
202 pp.
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It is puzzling that so many American and British conservatives are vocal critics of the eu. The union’s Brussels-based institutions employ fewer bureaucrats than a typical small city government, tax and spend only about two percent as much as their member states, and are primarily dedicated to goals such as free trade, deregulation, quashing state subsides, facilitating the free movement of capital and labor, and coordinating international policing, counterterrorism, and defense efforts. So why don’t Anglo-American conservatives praise the eu? Rohac does. He argues persuasively that the eu is a force for peace and prosperity that, on balance, promotes the precepts of the libertarian philosopher Friedrich Hayek. He argues that rather than seek to weaken Brussels, conservatives should work to strengthen and reform eu institutions. Rohac does not paper over the union’s flaws, especially the growth-inhibiting euro. But he concludes that the answer to Europe’s problems is more union, not less. Although Rohac doesn’t always argue his case rigorously and sometimes recycles questionable criticisms of Brussels, his book is an original corrective to unthinking (and often mendacious) Euroskepticism on the right.