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Paperback Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century Book

ISBN: 1586484249

ISBN13: 9781586484248

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century

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Book Overview

Those who believe Europe is weak, ineffectual and sclerotic are wrong. Europe might look frail and feeble against American military might, but that expression of power is shallow and narrow. Or so says Mark Leonard, one of Europe's brightest new policy thinkers, in a book sure to stir and provoke his American contemporaries. America's centralized, militarized supremacy, he argues, has become so overwhelming that it has defeated everything, including...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


The European Union evolved from a steel-and-coal union to a confedated union that respects the autonomy-in-union of the increasing number of members. As the union increases its breadth and depth, Europe might indeed resume the position of global leadership that it had exercised prior to the end of the Second World War.

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century

I have truly enjoyed this book. Very easy read with insightful comments. Strongly recommend to anyone interested in EU.

A guide which discusses the future and structure of democratic processes in a changing world economy

American attitudes, methods and strategies have dominated the world for the 20th century - but it may prove obsolete in future endeavors: that's the message of Why Europe Will Run The 21st Century, a guide which discusses the future and structure of democratic processes in a changing world economy. The US still has power - but it may no longer be the driving force in determining the world. Chapters explain how the evolving European Union is offering a broader reach and approach which draws countries in rather than setting up opposing strategies. The Union's influence is increasing - and it is creating a new network alternative to American power that holds the potential of changing world influences in the future.

Cool Europa

The title of this book is misleading because no one believes Europe will run the 21st century, including the author himself. Mark Leonard is not saying Europe will have the biggest economy or the most powerful military, rather the European way of doing things will be the model of change in the coming century. In the late 1990's, Leonard was the founder of Tony Blair's think tank, the Foreign Policy Centre, and he was also one of the young turks responsible for the making and the marketing of "cool Britannia." He is currently the head of the Centre for European Reform, and in this slim volume he is attempting to do for the European Union what he did for Great Britain. Leonard reminds us that the European Union is not a superstate, nor is it a federation or empire. It is more like a decentralized network. He compares the EU to Visa, a company whose logo appears on half a billion credit cards and employs only 3,000 people. Visa is actually owned by the 21,000 financial institutions that use it. The EU, like Visa, is basically an enabling institution rather than an overbearing bureaucracy. The attraction of the European Union for its members or potential members is its transformational power. It does not threaten with military power, instead the threat of being excluded from the world's largest single market is its most potent weapon. To become a member, a country must transform itself from within and comply with the 80,000 plus pages of law written in Brussels - laws that cover everything from human rights to product development. Critics will say that this is a superstate, and an undemocratic one at that. Leonard disagrees with this characterization. Not only has the EU rationalized commercial policies and provided a common currency, it has given small and medium-sized countries a voice in an increasingly globalized world. Under the aegis of the EU all the member countries have a say in international negotiations. Likewise, Leonard claims that on important internal issues such as taxes, pensions, healthcare, and education, Europeans still make decisions on the level of the nation state. But what about the recent rejection by France and the Netherlands of the EU constitution? No big deal, says Leonard. Europe is always in crisis and it's always debating its future identity, it's just another day at the office. One of the lessons learned from this rejection, however, is that the EU will require more debate and more democracy in the future. For example, on any future expansion of the EU there will be a referendum. If Turkey or the Balkan states want to join, they will not only have to meet all the legal and human rights requirements, they will also have to be accepted by the voters of the member countries. As they famously say, there will have to be a deepening before there can be a widening. As an optimist and booster of the EU, Leonard is dismissive of the numerous long-term problems that lie ahead. Europe has an overgenerous

An interesting view from a European's Point of View

Mark Leonard gives a lot of reasons in this book to say that the height of American power is passing and that a united, or even un-united, Europe will be the dominant power in the new century. He may be right. But then again, there are other such books out that Europe stands a good chance of being taken over by Islam and the history of religious theocracies who believe that the only education anyone needs is to study the Qur'an. There are other books that say China is going to become the dominant power. The biggest problem that I have with book is that it virtually ignores the impact of the ending of the oil based economy. There is one entry for OPEC in the index. It says that OPEC may switch to pricing oil in Euros rather than dollars. There are a couple of pages that say Europe is ahead in the race to end it's dependence on natural resources. OK, but he ignores that America still produces a good bit of its own oil, Europe doesn't except for the declining North Sea fields. And America has most of the world's uranium, which almost has to become the fuel of the future for producing electricity. The real question is which society, American or which of the European countries can adapt fastest to gasoline at, oh,$30 a gallon. This is a book that people thinking about the future will need to read. Just keep in mind that this is only one man's opinion. It's easy to predict the future, it's being right that's hard.
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