Costas Lapavitsas, "The Left Case Against the EU" (Polity, 2018)


Many on the Left see the European Union as a fundamentally benign project with the potential to underpin ever greater cooperation and progress. If it has drifted rightward, the answer is to fight for reform from within.

In this iconoclastic polemic, economist Costas Lapavitsas demolishes this view. In The Left Case Against the EU (Polity, 2018), he contends that the EU's response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel that institutionally embeds austerity, privatization, and wage cuts.

Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable core and dependent peripheries. These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform. The solution is therefore a direct challenge to the EU project that stresses popular and national sovereignty as preconditions for true internationalist socialism.

Lapavitsas's powerful manifesto for a left opposition to the EU upends the wishful thinking that often characterizes the debate and will be a challenging read for all on the Left interested in the future of Europe.

Costas Lapavitsas is Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research during the last few years has focused on the Eurozone and the financialization of capitalism. He has published widely in the academic field and writes frequently for the international and the Greek press. In January 2015 he was elected in the Greek Parliament with the incoming SYRIZA party, but left in August 2015 when the third bail-out of Greece was signed.

His most recent books include Capitalism in the Ottoman Balkans, with P. Cakiroglu, I.B.Tauris, 2019, The Left Case Against the EU, Polity Press, 2018, Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone, with H. Flassbeck, Verso, 2015, and Profiting Without Producing, Verso, 2013.

Daniel Lucas is a student at the University of Groningen, studying European and International law. Please contact through

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