CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: THE POLITICS OF INTEGRATION, ENGAGEMENT, AND DISSENT

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CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: THE POLITICS OF INTEGRATION, ENGAGEMENT, AND DISSENT is a well-researched Art and Humanities Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research

ABSTRACT

This thesis is a comprehensive interpretation of European political history in the periodization from 2008 to 2016.

The history begins with an exploration of the intellectual and political origins of the post-World War II project of European integration and the development of, and opposition to, the early institutions that eventually formed the contemporary assemblage of the European Union.

Following a traditionally structured history, this work is styled as a ‘history of the present’ that specifies the role of the European Union in precipitating and attempting to overcome the financial and monetary crises, foreign policy quandaries on its Eastern periphery, an unmanageable escalation in migration rates, and the materialization of Eurosceptic, populist, and anti-establishment political actors at European and national levels.

The specific arrangement of this thesis intends to fulfill its ultimate purpose of identifying the dynamic circumstances that aided the outcome of the United Kingdom referendum to leave the European Union.

CHAPTER ONE:
THE CONVERGENCE OF POSTWAR EUROPE

The war that came to an end in 1945 was the costliest war in human
history and dwarfed all previous military engagements.

World War II took millions of lives and destroyed much of Europe’s civilian infrastructure in less than six years – it was mostly a war of occupation; a civilian experience.

1 Despite the massive losses and widespread destruction, the war rearranged and transformed the international political order. Loosely speaking, the war represented and ideological battle between liberalism, communism, and fascism.

The fascists element was buried at the end of World War II and seemingly overnight a hostile nuclear standoff developed between liberalism and communism, or the United States and Soviet Union. Thus, the year 1945 is only a relative watershed moment.

2 While half of Europe enjoyed a recovery unparalleled in human history, the other continued to suffer in the psychological, political, and economic chains of Soviet communism.

What was to come of Europe after the war? Nazi Germany and their collaborators wiped the European continent clean of the weak governments and political systems that existed in the interwar years.

While World War I only had the significant consequence of ridding Europe of old dynastic empires, World War II and its aftermath directly displaced and reorganized entire populations of differing peoples.

3 Soviet ‘resettlement’ of the quite large German population outside of Germany was particularly the most brutal. The end of the war assisted in the implementation of the borders and nations that exist in the present day.

The Allied occupation of Germany positioned itself as the most substantial issue after the war and the most symbolic location of ground zero for the Cold
War.

Originally intended to suppress any attempt to reignite the war and to
facilitate the process of denazification, the occupation became a point of
contention not just between the occupiers and their respective zones but
between the occupiers themselves – the United States, Britain, France, and Soviet Union

.In what has been articulated first by German poet Hans Magnus
Enzenberger and repeated later by British historian Tony Judt, a “collective amnesia” swept Europe.

4 It was obvious for the major powers that the new geopolitical situation was going to be a fight for influence in Central Europe. As 1945 drifted further away, the reconstruction and influence in Europe took priority over any repercussions for wartime grievances.

The most significant political figure in Germany of the postwar years was
Konrad Adenauer, a former mayor of Cologne who was imprisoned several times during Nazi regime and after the war held a contemptuous attitude toward the continued occupation of Germany.

He founded the Christian Democratic Union, a    political party that aimed to rebuild German politics after the war and restore German sovereignty. By 1949, the Allied forces in the Western portion of Germany (Americans, British, and French) had all withdrawn from their zones in Germany except for the French protectorate in the Saar region.

5 Adenauer saw that the path toward shedding the Nazi label for the newly established Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was cooperation and involvement in the international arena. Balance of power defined the continent for centuries, especially between France and Germany. Thus, from the perspective of Adenauer, there was nothing to lose and everything to gain from fostering positive relations with France and other European nations.

Early in the postwar years, Adenauer understood the need for a Franco-German rendezvous to oppose the control of outside influencers.

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Additional information

Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category

Art and Humanities

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

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