A new narrative, or a new European political project, or an institutional revolution, is exactly what Europe needs, according to six recent books reviewed by Anne Applebaum, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy. It’s not hard to understand why, she writes for The New York Review of Books:
The continent is plagued by crises that cannot be solved by any one European nation acting on its own: the arrival of millions of migrants, the rise of terrorism, the spread of international corruption, the imbalances created by the single currency, the high youth unemployment in some regions, the challenge from a revanchist Russia. At the same time, Europe, like the American states before they adopted the Constitution in 1789, still has no political mechanisms that can create joint solutions to any of these problems. A common European foreign and defense policy is still a pipe dream; a common border is difficult to enforce; a common economic policy is still far away.
The books under review: The Great Regression edited by Heinrich Geiselberger; The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age by James Kirchick (a former Penn Kemble fellow), who calls for a “renewal of the muscular liberal center”; After Europe by Ivan Krastev (of the International Forum for Democratic Studies research council); Slippery Slope: Brexit and Europe’s Troubled Future by Giles Merritt; Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir by Anton Shekhovtsov; and In Defence of Europe: Can the European Project Be Saved? by Loukas Tsoukalis.