Empire by Integration The United States and European

America played a significant role in European integration and they aren’t given enough credit I didn’t realise the impact they had on the European integration process So this book has definitely opened my eyes Lundestad argues that the US has played a major and positive role in the integration of Europe after WWII The US had numerous motives for wanting Europe to integrate politically economically and militarily Integration would unite Western Europe against the Soviet Union prevent future conflict allow Germany to recover without becoming a threat and aid the economy This sort of informal empire in which the US encouraged and funded but did not coerce European policies also fit nicely with American values The main American condition for supporting integration was that it must not weaken transatlantic relationships especially NATO US influence was strongest in the 1940's and 1950's suffering its first major blow with de Gaulle withdrawal from the EC and his charting of a European course However de Gaulle's challenge ended up being less significant than usual because after de Gaulle European nations mainly pursued integration on their own accord because it was mutually beneficial not because the US was pressuring them to do so The most interesting aspect of Lundsted's argument is that the US was the arbiter of integration and peace after WWII The US wanted Europe to integrate and recover but thought it would be neither just nor effective to exert imperial control over this process Lundsted praises the US for exerting soft but effective pressure and patience with Europe If the US hadn't been in the background consistently backing integration countries like France wouldn't have taken the risk to unite with West Germany in various organizations because they would be too suspicious of German revanchism Lundsted makes a strong case that US involvement in Europe while not unchallenged by Europeans has largely been the key to the integration recovery and long peace in Europe since WWII He does however show that the downside of US influence has been the stunted growth of European military burden sharing as evidenced in conflicts like Gulf War I and the breakup of Yugoslavia This problem persists todayThis is clearly a book for scholars It is not a primer on the EU or US foreign policy or the Cold War You will be lost if you just pick it up without knowing about the ECSC the Marshall Plan de Gaulle's challenge to the US and the general trends of the Cold WarUS foreign policy It's a compelling argument if you have the background in European and Cold War history169 pages Empire by Integration is the first comprehensive survey of American policy towards European integration from 1945 to the present Lundestad argues that unlike other Great Powers the US strongly supported the integration of the most important area under its influence Western Europe Taking a clear chronological approach to the subject this study tells its tale in full from the beginnings of European integration after World War II the challenge to American policy on European integration by Charles de Gaulle and the modified support for European integration in the Nixon Kissinger years up through the present day revived support for European integration under the Clinton administration Lundestad thus provides a succinct provocative and highly readable account of this crucial aspect of American Western European relations Empire by Integration The United States and European Integration 1945 1997

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