Strong and insightful American Interest article by Jonathan Haidt on how moral psychology can help explain and reduce tensions between nationalism and globalism. What on earth is going on in the Western democracies? From the rise of Donald Trump in the United States and an assortment of right-wing parties across Europe through the June 23 Brexit vote, many on the Left have the sense that something dangerous and ugly is spreading: right-wing… Read More

    Grenzen zijn filters, geen muren. Het lijkt slechts semantiek, maar in deze constatering ligt naar mijn mening een goed startpunt voor een oplossing voor het ingewikkelde debat over vluchteling en de grenzen van Europa. Landgrenzen hebben niet twee standen – dicht of open – maar geven een samenleving de kans om controle uit te oefenen, om keuzes te maken. En die keuzes zijn hard nodig. Weer is Paul Scheffers bijdrage… Read More

De oud-president van Tsjechië, Vaclav Klaus, meent dat de Europese Unie twee mythische projecten koestert: de gemeenschappelijke munt en het klimaatbeleid. Daar mag niet aan getornd worden. Derk Jan Eppink haalt de niet onomstreden Klaus aan om te laten zien dat de euro niet gebaseerd is op economische analyse, maar op het geloof dat de eenheidsmunt het middel is tot het hogere doel: Europese eenheid. Geloof is het sleutelwoord. En zoals we… Read More

What is to become of Europe, now that it is in the midst of a perfect storm of several crises: recovering from a deep recession, coping with an unprecedented number of asylum seekers and refugees, not being able to protect its borders, terrorist attacks and – as a result – declining trust of its citizens? In this Foreign Affairs article Oxford Professor Woods argues that the most likely prospect is a more… Read More

In times of great emotion taking some distance can generate new perspectives. For sure, in dealing with the huge immigration crisis in Europe rational analysis is of great help in finding workable answers. This is an interesting, factual look at arguably the biggest challenge we’ve been facing for a while on the Old Continent. The author, Robert K. Visser from the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations, frames the dilemmas… Read More

This is a very well researched account of the creation of Europe, from World War II to the present day, with quite some technical details. Nevertheless, Segers never loses his general thread. He starts with stressing that the unification of Europe was a strongly held wish from the United States (“building Europe”) and that there was only one real combination driving this process forward: the axis France-Germany. Those two countries, however, had… Read More

A recent Foreign Affairs article draws a parallel between the Greek crisis and how Latvia recovered from its own crisis. The lesson – one that we learn over and over again – is clear: unless accompanied by substantial institutional reforms, neither austerity nor Grexit will work. I furthermore hope that Tsipras finds the time to read the insightful book ‘Why Nations Fail‘ – it will help him to better understand how functioning,… Read More

The short answer is: yes, the EU is doomed (and will only survive in minimal form), but Europa will further integrate and have a bright future. Zielonka foresees a European structure led by cities, regions and NGO’s. I not only think this is a realistic option, but also one that I could support. It’s more of a pamphlet than a real book – would’ve liked to see this interesting concept fleshed out… Read More

The latest book by the Belgian prodigy (32 year-old professor of  International Relations in Brussels). His analyses are stronger than his solutions and the book as a whole is somewhat chaotic – large parts of the book deserve better editing – but as an overview of Europa as an idea it’s a tour de force that is worth the read. Bottom line: Europa is in bad shape, but can resurrect if it’s… Read More

Insider’s account of Europe during the crisis, with Luuk van Middelaar probably as Van Rompuy’s ghost writer. Only for the political gourmets.

Fine overview of the EU, with a dash of investigated journalism. It stands out for its optimism about the European project and the author’s strong belief in the possibility of top-down change.

Dutch biography on Charles de Gaulle. Probably not the best, but served its goal: to better understand the greatness of the man and the way he inspired France (by saying no).

Essays on Spain in times of crisis – have enjoyed the beautifully written, dense Spanish sentences, again demonstrating the uniqueness the baroque writing of Spanish authors. Molina is clearly a leftist, blaming the capitalist conspiracy for Spain’s trouble.