In This Review

Embattled Europe: A Progressive Alternative
Embattled Europe: A Progressive Alternative
By Konrad H. Jarausch
Princeton University Press, 2021, 344 pp

This provocative book argues that Europe is the global beacon of progressive politics today. Among global powers, Europe alone espouses a model of the future that is politically legitimate, socially just, and technologically sustainable, Jarausch claims. Only European countries have established fair political systems that limit campaign spending, guarantee the proportional electoral representation of diverse views, and maintain effective government bureaucracies. Only European countries guarantee minimal subsistence and medical care to all. Other countries cater to the wealthiest one percent of their people; European countries remain the best places for those of modest means. Only European governments divert resources from military spending to more cost-effective nonmilitary tools, such as aid, trade, and multilateral institutions. And European countries consistently uphold the world’s strongest regulatory protections in areas such as the environment, digital privacy, finance, business competition, and consumer safety. The author, a celebrated historian of Europe, acknowledges that the Old Continent faces challenges, but this book remains a useful corrective to the pervasive and misleading Europe-bashing that often occupies the global press.