Front cover image for The left case against the EU

The left case against the EU

Costas Lapavitsas (Author)
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. 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
eBook, English, 2018
Polity Press, Medford, MA, 2018
1 online resource (viii, 184 pages) : illustrations
9781509531080, 1509531084
Ch. 1. The European union and the left
Fragmentation and retreat of democracy
The challenge for the left
Ch. 2. The evolution of the EU: from Maastrocht to now
Neoliberalism and hegemony in the EU: drawing on Hayek
Neoliberalism and state monopoly over money
Creating the euro: a lever of neoliberalism and conditional German hegemony
The 'architectural flaws' of the euro
The broader context of conditional German hegemony
Ch. 3. The ascendancy of Germany and the division of Europe
A distinctive financialised economy
The defeat of German labour in the 1990s
The competitive advantage of Germany and the creation of the Southern periphery
The unstable core of the EMU and the Central European periphery
Ch. 4. The Eurozone crisis: class interests and hegemonic power
The crisis erupts
Imposing a neoliberal agenda
An unstable and fraught equilibrium
Ch. 5. Greece in the iron trap of the euro
The proximate causes of the Greek crisis
Long-term weaknesses of the Greek economy
The lenders impose bail-outs and bring disaster
Class and national interests in the Greek disaster
The political débâcle of SYRIZA
Ch. 6. Seeking democracy, sovereignty, and socialism
Democracy and sovereignty in the EU, once again
The impossibility of radical reform
A class-based stance for the left
What to do?