Review Essay, Society, published online, September 28, 2022.
Luuk van Middelaar’s most recent book on Europe, like his previous work, is serious stuff. Don’t expect your run-of-the-mill “European integration” spiel, liberally funded by the European Commission, dealing with issues like How-the-Commission-constructed-a-Treaty-base-where-there-is-none; or the encouraging results of the latest “European Semester” and what additional data Croatia must supply next time for even more economic stability and convergence to ensue; or why monetary union requires fiscal union to deliver its full benefits; and how the Treaties must be rewritten to consummate the unity of Europe by allowing for the magic of neo-functionalist spillover. None of the usual obsession here with the design and implementation of “programs”, their odds and ends and how they grow out of the infighting between the Commission’s General Directorates, the EU’s various supranational would-be authorities and its member states — all of this on the assumption that “integration” must ultimately move forward as foreseen by “integration theory”. (…)