Europe's path to crisis

Disintegration via monetary union

By Tom Gallagher

Europe's path to crisis


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9604-4
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: Politics, International institutions, EU (European Union), BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic Conditions, Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic & financial crises & disasters, Society & social sciences / EU & European institutions


The EU's single currency crisis and the ensuing human costs have led to Europe's biggest disaster since 1945. This book examines each of its stages and the political and social impact, and reveals the longer-term origins of the crisis, particularly the failure of elites to promote a genuine European partnership grounded in democratic values and a desire to co-exist with a national outlook.

The author defends an orderly retreat from the existing model of monetary union, arguing that an alternative is needed in order for countries enduring a prolonged slump to recover, and recommending that EU chiefs should also treat the nation-state as a partner in a common emergency that needs to be overcome.

This jargon-free, insightful and long-term analysis of a dangerous crisis is an invaluable book for academics and students alike. It is also an effective tool for policy-makers, citizens and business people who require an accessible and in-depth appraisal of a continuing catastrophe.


The sad story of how a great idealistic adventure in bringing nations and peoples together was side-tracked down the dead end street of monetary union making it the low growth high unemployment black spot it has become, is one that is all too often clouded by ideology, prejudice and obtuse stupidity. Gallagher's analysis is both objective and full of insights, making the tragedy an important subject for study by students and those who want to understand what went wrong'.

'Europe's Path to Crisis is an un-illusioned examination of the current state of the European Union, which cuts through both its past success in assisting to bring peace to a riven continent and its large ideals for the future - to a present which shows few signs that the Union's institutions can renew themselves sufficiently, or develop a popular democratic base convincingly. That needs to be recognised before a real reconstruction can be attempted.'

'It is good to see a critique of the crisis that the Euro has brought to the economies and democracies of Europe. The single currency is an orphan currency in search of a country to love it and back it. It is now driving European political union, without the consent of many of the people tied up in it. The long shadow of high unemployment, huge surpluses and deficits that are difficult to finance, and deep recessions stalks the zone thanks to the EU's inability to think it through and sell it to the people. It is good to see more of this being pointed out'

'As Gallagher shows the EU setup is a one-way street in the direction of ever closer union. But centralisation is a recipe for mutual resentment, not mutual understanding, among the peoples of Europe. The EU empire breeds regulation and thereby weakens Europe from within'.

'The dark heart of 'Europe' revealed, the disaster of monetary union conceived in the dream of a centralised country called 'Europe' and delivered by amateur caesarean in crisis and panic, this book is a must for anyone wanting to understand what 'Europe' is really about'.

This is a very good, straightforward account of the making of the monster and the consequences of turning that modern Frankenstein, the euro, loose on the poorer EU states.


1. Creating the single currency: the triumph of ideology over good sense
2. The builders of the European Union and their project: 1950-1992
3. France and Germany: the EU's odd couple
4. The flight from nationalism towards the elusive European identity
5. The steady retreat of democracy in the EU
6. Return to European strife via monetary union
7. A crisis with no end in sight
Conclusion: routes away from crisis


Tom Gallagher is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Bradford

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