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The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht (Cornell Studies in Political Economy) Paperback – October 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0801485091 ISBN-10: 0801485096 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Political Economy
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801485096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801485091
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This will become one of the most widely-used and authoritative sources on the politics and progress of integration in Europe. Moravcsik is well-known to EU specialists as one of the foremost theorists in the field. . . . An extremely good political history of European integration . . . which has strong claim to being the definitive work. . . . Given its length and detailed content and its masterly authorship . . . this volume will further Moravcsik's reputation as a contender to being the foremost analyst of integration in Europe."—Australian Journal of European Integration

"Moravcsik's brilliant book is, and will remain for a long time, one of the standard works on the subject. It is clearly a must for everyone seriously engaged in the debates of the discipline. . . . A masterpiece. . . . The depth of discussion and the treatment of the rich empirical material are truly exceptional and its analytical rigor is razor-sharp. . . . Moravcsik's book is an enriching and splendid intellectual operation."—International Affairs

"Few books are as clearly argued as Andrew Moravcsik's. . . . His analytical presentation is carefully articulated, his presentation of historical material is meticulous and his conclusions are at the same time provocative and well-grounded in existing debates. Simply, his is a book that is bound to generate useful controversy even among those who know very little about the intricacies of integration theory beforehand. Moravscik has succeeded not only in creating a touchstone for contemporary theorizing about Europe, but also in providing perhaps the best course book for advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in European affairs. . . . At the same time, and perhaps more important, Moravscik may inspire a new generation of students to take the study of Europe as seriously as they take the subject matter."—Eric Jones, Governance

"Andrew Moravcsik, in this work of rich insights and cogent case studies,deserves complements for illuminating the 'grand bargains' that have forged and developed the European Community (now European Union). This work is a distinguished contribution to thinking about these paramount events in contemporary Europe. Moravcsik has performed a laudable feat by skillfully weaving the themes of nation-state decision formation with domestic socioeconomic variables, thereby enriching our comprehension about these frontier-shattering experiments in transnational co-operation. . . . The book is consistently interesting, stimulating, and intellectually challenging."—Pierre-Henry Lauren, International History Review

"The Choice for Europe is a testament to Moravcsik's abilities. Not only does Moravcsik present a credible description of his representation of European integration, but he does so by integrating the forces of an interdependent global economy and the relative power of states within this system. While engaging with some of the specifics of European integration, Moravcsik's discussion presents a solid contribution to International Relations theory. The Choice for Europe is a major addition to the canon of European integration theory."—Ben Mueller, Canadian Journal of Political Science

"The most important work in the field since Alan Millard's The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945–1951, and the most ambitious interpretation of its subject yet written. Moravcsik has returned economics to the forefront of the history of European integration. He has mastered a vast, multilingual secondary literature. . . He courageously challenges the conventional wisdom on virtually every issue, and succeeds in debunking the tired claims of the memoirists that a handful of international technocrats created the New Europe."—William I. Hitchcock, American Historical Review

"This is one of the most important books and probably the most ambitious one on the history and theory of European Integration which has been published in the 1990s. . . . The importance of the book is beyond doubt. Rarely have the core questions of European integration been presented in such a thought-provoking way, and it is extremely instructive to come to terms with Moravcsik's arguments even if one does not share the interpretation."—Dr. Hubert Zimmerman. Journal of European Integration History

"This is an excellent book which uses a wide range of new empirical materials about the major decision points in the development of the European Union, and shows a mastery of the relevant theories and of the process of theorizing. Under both headings it is innovative and sophisticated, and deserves to be regarded as a major, even masterly contribution."—Nations and Nationalism

"Moravcsik's book is a purely retrospective study (and all the better for it), examining why sovereign governments in Europe have repeatedly chosen to coordinate their core economic policies and surrender sovereign prerogatives within an international institution. . . . The case argued by Moravcsik is powerful, well buttressed by evidence, and weighty. . . . This is an original and challenging account of European integration."—Adam Robbers, Times Literary Supplement

"Andrew Moravcsik has written a densely documented, well argued, intelligent, and aggressive book."—West European Politics

"Moravcsik's book provides the most comprehensive account of the history-making decisions setting up the EC/EU available. It will set the standards in European studies for the years to come. . . . This book represents an excellent synthesis of his work. . . . Moravcsik's particular strength is his ability to combine in-depth historical analysis with rigorous hypothesis testing. This is the main reason why this book constitutes a model for future research in European studies and elsewhere. . . . This is a path-breaking book. . . . It also contains a political message that is utterly relevant for the future of the European Union."—Thomas Risse, International Politics

"Moravcsik has produced a very well-written and ambitious work which addresses the flaws in previous scholarship on this issue. Simply stated, it is the best synthetic account of the European integration process currently available, and must be read by anyone with an interest in this intriguing issue."—Todd Alan Good, H-Net Reviews

"In The Choice for Europe, Andrew Moravcsik combines social science theory with extensive empirical research to produce the most compelling and significant analysis yet of the European Community."—Robert O. Keohane, Duke University

"Andrew Moravcsik has written the most thorough, and quite possibly the best, historical analysis of European integration extant."—Helen Milner, Columbia University

"This challenging volume will be read—and re-read—for its insights into West European integration. Moravcsik's painstakingly thorough study lays out the rich evidence for his probing analysis of European statecraft."—Helen Wallace, Director, ESRC One Europe Or Several Programme, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
For once, here is a general text purporting to analyse the history of European integration that actually lives up to its billing. It is quite rightly considered a tour de force. Indeed, Andrew Moravcsik's "The choice for Europe" has already established itself as one of the most important publications to date on this subject. While it is obvious that the continued evolution of the European Union has been one of the most `extraordinary political achievements' to have taken place during the 20th century, the reasons why this community of states was created in the first place and the ways in which it has since developed have not always been so convincingly explained or succinctly outlined, that is until now. What Robert Keohane describes on the fly-cover as the `most compelling and significant analysis yet of the European Community' is just that.
Moravcsik is not a historian, but in this text he tries to integrate political science theory into a historical study of European unity; this is in order to discover why there has been such a high-level of cooperation between Western European states during the last half-century. His book fills an important gap in our knowledge by tracing the somewhat erratic developments that have led to a greater degree of economic and political union gradually being instituted throughout this region and by placing these in a theoretical perspective.
In this most accessible work, he persuasively argues that economic interdependence has been the prime motivator in successive governments making these rational choices.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Willem Noe on March 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found this book one of the best I have read on European integration history. It is a good example of revisionist history at its best. Compared to other books i have studied on the same subject this one makes a number of novel points and gives a completely different emphasis on driving factors & driving actors of the process of EU integration, putting the role of the Member States at centre stage all the way, and their economic interests as primary driving elements. To me, as an economist, this sounded convincing and certainly puts a novel slant on the traditional 'high politics' integration story. At the same time, I also found it a somewhat depressing account of the ineffectiveness of the Commission at crucial times of decision making. The book certainly puts into question some cherished notions about the role and functioning of the Commission, and since I am proud to work there it was not easy to take this in.
I found the first chapter hard going and somewhat obtruse, although i can appreciate the methodological points he makes, which are all to often ingnored. Once one is through that, though, the real story begins and a fascinating account it is, especially since it certainly does not follow the analysis i have read previously on this subject.
An excellent reference work, and certain to stimulate many a (heated) debate.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. C. G. Mazzucelli on July 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Andrew Moravcsik boldly makes the case for the centrality of the three largest member states in the construction of Europe. In this volume, Moravcsik articulates his "liberal intergovernmentalist" (LI) framework of analysis and utilizes primary sources to strengthen his response to Paul Pierson's "historical institutionalist" (HI) account of European integration. As Moravcsik explains, in making the choice for Europe
" was the deliberate triumphs of European integration, not its unintended side-effects, that appear to have increased support for further integration. This is the key point of divergence between HI theory and the tri-partite "liberal intergovernmentalist" interpretation advanced here. For most governments, inducing economic modernization-even with unpleasant side-effects-was the major purpose of European integration." (p. 491)
One of the strongest contributions of Moravcsik's volume is to revisit the classic neo-functionalist-intergovernmentalist debate and to place it in a new theoretical context. To Moravcsik's credit, this tome offers a detailed, thorough and remarkably organized assessment of competing explanations in the European integration literature. Students and scholars of integration will grapple with the issues raised as a result of this work for years to come.
Moravcsik's volume challenges the "myths" of European integration and calls into question the relevance of actions taken by supranational entrepreneurs. National versus supranational debates notwithstanding, Monnet's (and later Delor's) talent was to seize a moment in history when Europe was at the brink of continuity or change.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on July 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this deeply researched book, Andrew Moravcsik studies five key moves toward wider and deeper European integration: the Treaties of Rome, consolidating the Common Market, monetary integration, the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty. He argues that the member governments chose ever closer union in order to promote their countries' economic interests. He aims to prove that economic interests, not political ideas, drive EU integration. He focuses on how the governments of Germany, France and Britain made their decisions.
Moravcsik argues that the British government's policy in the 1950s of opposition to joining the Common Market "was the rational one for a government that traded little with the Continent, had high tariffs in place, and feared competition with German producers." So there was economic logic to staying out. It is less clear that there was good reason for the subsequent reversal of policy: trading with a bloc does not oblige us to join it!
He shows that De Gaulle vetoed Britain's application not out of chauvinism, but because we opposed generous financing for French farmers through the Common Agricultural Policy. In 1969, Pompidou lifted the veto, but only in exchange for the British government's huge concession of agreeing to a permanent financing arrangement for the CAP. This made it CAP reform impossible.
Similarly, member governments have pursued integration through creating the Single Market and EMU. Moravcsik shows how Europe's multinational companies and the national employers' organisations backed integration. The European Commission admitted, "The single market programme has done more for business than it has for workers", a judgment true also of Economic and Monetary Union.
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