Europe is one of the most dynamic and interesting areas of the world, pioneering in the European Union a new form of governance for half a billion people, represented in the world's first directly elected transnational parliament. This book situates the European Union in a broader European, global, historical and geographical context, providing a readable presentation of the most important facts and drawing on the theoretical approaches which have transformed the study of contemporary Europe over the past two decades.
The European Union is still on the road to what has been called 'an unknown destination', and this book presents its economic, political, legal and social trajectory from the middle of the last century to the present. Contemporary Europe covers some of these issues in an interdisciplinary framework, aiming to situate the development of the European Union in a broader context of pan-European and global processes. Europe has been cut down to size, but it does not have to become a global backwater, and the study of contemporary Europe's institutional reality does not have to be boring
The book counter this misperception, conveying the essential facts and theories of contemporary European reality in a clear and approachable analysis. It will serve as a readable introduction both to the academic field of European studies and to contemporary Europe itself.
William Outhwaite, FAcSS, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University, is the author of European Society (Polity 2008), Critical Theory and Contemporary Europe (Continuum 2012) and Europe Since 1989 (Routledge 2016) and a large number of journal articles and book chapters on contemporary Europe. He taught European studies and the sociology of contemporary Europe at the University of Sussex (in the School of European Studies) and Newcastle University (in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology). He is an associate editor of the European Journal of Social Theory and European Societies, the journal of the European Sociological Association, and is a member of editorial boards of a number of other journals.
European Unity: Dream and Reality Globalisation and the European Economy Territory and Governance Institutional Europe European Democracy People's Europe Europeans Against `Europe' The Future of Europe in the World Appendix