Stefan AuerMay 26, 2022
Democracy, Sovereignty and the Politics of Emergency
Oxford University Press 2022
"With the eurozone crisis going back to 2010, the refugee crisis that culminated in 2015, the crisis of the EU-Russia relationship going back to the Ukrainian Maidan revolution of 2013-14, to the Covid-19 crisis in 2020, the EU has struggled to live up to the expectations it raised both in relation to its own people and neighbouring countries. This is not an accident".
Could this really be by design? In European Disunion: Democracy, Sovereignty and the Politics of Emergency (Hurst in the UK, OUP in the US, 2022), Stefan Auer argues that the EU's hybrid form – falling somewhere between a multinational state and a multilateral organisation – comes closest to the ideals of Germany, its most powerful member. This attempt to bypass politics has weakened the EU in the many emergencies it has faced over the last 15 years. Today, he says, "Europeans do not have the luxury of living in a politics-less world".
Stefan Auer is an Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, having previously taught in Melbourne and Dublin and twice held Jean Monnet chairs. A prolific contributor to political science journals, he won the 2005 UACES Best Book in European Studies prize for his Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe (Routledge, 2004).
*The authors' own book recommendations are: After Europe by Ivan Krastev (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) and Time of the Magicians: The Great Decade of Philosophy, 1919-1929 by Wolfram Eilenberger (2022).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors (a division of Energy Aspects).