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The Left Case Against the EU

  • ID: 4471938
  • Book
  • 160 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Many on the left see the European Union as a fundamentally benign project with the potential to underpin ever greater co–operation and progress. If it has drifted rightwards, the answer is to fight for reform from within.

In this iconoclastic polemic, economist Costas Lapavitsas demolishes this view. He contends that the EU s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries. These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the interests of capital against labour. The solution is therefore a direct challenge to the EU project that stresses popular and national sovereignty as preconditions for socialism and true internationalism.

Lapavitsas s powerful manifesto for a socialist opposition to the EU upends the wishful thinking that often characterises the debate and will be a challenging read for all on the left interested in the future of Europe.
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  • Contents
  • Ch
    1. The European Union and the Left
  • 1.1 Fragmentation and retreat of democracy
  • 1.2 The challenge for the Left
  • Ch
    2. The evolution of the EU since Maastricht
  • 2.1. Neoliberalism and hegemony in the EU  drawing on Hayek
  • 2.2. Neoliberalism and state monopoly over money
  • 2.3. Creating the euro: A lever of neoliberalism and conditional German hegemony
  • 2.4. The architectural flaws of the euro
  • 2.5. The broader context of conditional German hegemony
  • Ch
    3. The ascendancy of Germany and the division of Europe
  • 3.1. A distinctive financialised economy
  • 3.2. The defeat of German labour in the 1990s
  • 3.3. The competitive advantage of Germany and the creation of the Southern periphery
  • 3.4. The unstable core of the EMU and the Central European periphery
  • Ch
    4. The Eurozone crisis: Class interests and hegemonic power
  • 4.1. Crisis erupts
  • 4.2. Imposing a neoliberal agenda
  • 4.3. An unstable and fraught equilibrium
  • Ch
    5. Greece in the iron trap of the euro
  • 5.1 The proximate causes of the Greek crisis
  • 5.2 Long–term weaknesses of the Greek economy
  • 5.3. The lenders impose bail–outs and bring disaster
  • 5.4. Class and national interests in the Greek disaster
  • 5.5 The political debacle of SYRIZA
  • Ch
    6. Seeking democracy, sovereignty, and socialism
  • 6.1. Democracy and sovereignty in the EU, once again
  • 6.2 The impossibility of radical reform
  • 6.3. A class–based stance for the Left
  • 6.4. What to do?
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Costas Lapavitsas
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