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by Alan Milward

eBook The European Rescue of the Nation State download ISBN: 041521629X
Author: Alan Milward
Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (February 2, 2000)
Language: English
Pages: 488
ePub: 1124 kb
Fb2: 1877 kb
Rating: 4.5
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Category: Different
Subcategory: Humanities

No European rescue of the nation-state was of any validity, unless it also offered a solution to this problem. Alan Steele Milward, FBA was a British economic historian.

No European rescue of the nation-state was of any validity, unless it also offered a solution to this problem. Although therefore the European rescue of the nation-state was necessarily an economic one, it is at the point where that economic rescue intersected with the problem of Germany’s future in Europe that the common policies of the European Community developed. One of the most influential historians of the second half of the twentieth century, Milward's work was well known in Britain, across Europe and beyond. Books by Alan S. Milward.

Alan S. Milward is Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute, Florence and official historian and Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics.

In his book The European Rescue of the Nation State (1992), he also challenged the eurosceptic doctrine that the European Union would involve an integration of nation-states that would undermine sovereignty and lead to . .

In his book The European Rescue of the Nation State (1992), he also challenged the eurosceptic doctrine that the European Union would involve an integration of nation-states that would undermine sovereignty and lead to a federalist superstate. He influenced many historians and political scientists, not least Andrew Moravcsik's Choice for Europe. War, Economy and Society, 1939-1945 (1977, republished 1987; originally published as Krieg, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Munich, 1976). The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945-51 (1984; republished 1987). The European Rescue of the Nation-State (1992). Milward is Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute, Florence and official . Furthermore, & new political consensus on which this rescue was built required the process of integration, the surrender of limited areas of national sovereignty to the supranation. That the state by an act of national will might pursue integration as one way of formalizing, regulating and perhaps limiting the consequences of interdependence. Coal and Belgian nation.

By Alan S. Milward with the. assistance of George Brennan and Federico Romero. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992. Pp. xvi + 477. S4. 0. For the second time in a decade, Alan Milward has taken aim at contemporary misconceptions about postwar European integration. Britain, concemed with finance rather than industry and agriculture, stayed out.

On one level it is an original analysis of the forces which brought the EC together, on another it is an explanation based on historical analysis of the future relationship between nation-state and the European Union. Bibliographic information. The European Rescue of the Nation State.

This sequel to The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945-51 gives the first detailed history of the early years of the European Community. On one level it is an original analysis of the forces which brought the EC together and of why Britain at first did not want to join, on another it is an explanation based on historical analysis of the future relationship between nation-state and Community. Milward argues that the evolution of the Community has been an integral part of the reassertion of the nation-state as an organizational unity.

Similar books and articles. The NationState, Past and Present. Beyond the Nation-State: The Multinational State as the Model for the European Community. Harry Ritter - 1996 - The European Legacy 1 (2):689-695. Emerging of European Multi-level Governance and the Future of Nation State. Gui-Chang Zhu - 2007 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 1:13-21. European Union and the NationState: The Politics of Hope Encounters the Politics of Experience. M. R. Lepsius - 1992 - Télos 1992 (91):57-76. Habeas Corpus? Pierre Manent and the Politics of Europe. David Janssens - 2006 - European Journal of Political Theory 5 (2):171-190.

This newly revised and updated second edition is the classic economic and political account of the origins of the European Community. On one level it is an original analysis of the forces which brought the EC together, on another it is an explanation based on historical analysis of the future relationship between nation-state and the European Union. Combining political with economic analysis, and based on extensive primary research in several countries, this book offers a challenging interpretation of the history of the western European state and European integration.
Comments: (2)
Livina
This book comes for me at the right time: in the time discussions about the European Union are actual (see Brexit).
I love the way Milward analyses the history of Europe after the Second World War. I'll certainly use this book as a background for my own writings.
Ishnjurus
Milward's thesis was that `the European Community only evolved as an aspect of that national reassertion' and `without the process of integration the west European nation-state might well not have retained the allegiance and support of its citizens in the way that it has. The European Community has been its buttress, an indispensable part of the nation-state's post-war construction.' Furthermore, `the new political consensus on which this rescue was built required the process of integration, the surrender of limited areas of national sovereignty to the supranation. `That the state by an act of national will might pursue integration as one way of formalizing, regulating and perhaps limiting the consequences of interdependence.'

Coal and Belgian nation

Milward identified national survival as the main reasons for the Treaty of Paris: `peace between France and Germany was essential for Belgium's security, and that this was the strongest reason for accession to the treaty.' On perequation and its purpose of restructuring the coal industry, `it was evident that the Belgian government as a whole felt no particular allegiance of principle to the underlying intentions of perequation and was quite prepared to allow the more generous subsidy regime which was its outcome to prop up the industry relatively unchanged, should that prove the easier political choice.' As it turned out, the restructuring failed miserably. Apparently, `the van Acker government appeared quite prepared to continue these subsidies while only half-heartedly carrying out the restructuring programme.'

The Belgium commitment to providing welfare remained central to its domestic policies and supranationality actually enhanced it: `The collapse of the coal market in 1958 was a crisis of the post-war Belgian state, of the post-war consensus on employment in general, and of the internationalization of that consensus through the Community institutions. For all those compulsorily laid off, generous Community provision was made on top of the already extensive social security provision of the Belgian state.'

Lastly, Milward discerned the use of the supranational body to provide political immunity, `the Belgian government always saw the purpose of the supranational authority as a buttress for national policies. It was a source of authority outside the nation which could be appealed to for help, blamed for unpopular policies which were also those of the government itself.' `The High Authority, as the decisions at the end of April 1955 made clear, was not the triumph of functionalism, but a powerful international committee within which separate national representatives argued for separate national policies.'

Foreign trade, economic and social advance, and the origins of the European Economic Community

Germany's export fueled Europe's spectacular post-war growth. `From at least 1890, Germany had been the main European supplier of investment goods (machinery, transport equipment and steel) to other European economies.' In order to expand its export base beyond the `smaller, more trade-dependent economies, one appeal of a customs union was that it would extend that base by forcing down levels of protection in France and Italy, and perhaps eventually the United Kingdom.' Contrary to the British exports market, the Board of Trade inquiry concluded its finding of a `conscious post-war strategy of regarding Europe as the third-best market and its consequences, ceding to Germany the task of re-equipping Europe's investment programme.'

Milward's research showed that `If West Germany were not firmly secured in its place as the pivot of this trade expansion income growth would be less.' `The stabilizing importance of the German market seems to have been the greater in as much as countries whose overall export performance was relatively weak in the 1950s tended to do worse on non-German markets, while the demand for their goods still remained high in Germany. ` `Ultimately, it was not monetary and fiscal policies within the Federal Republic which were responsible for the export surpluses but the insatiable demand from Western Europe for German engineering goods and the interlocking demand in the Federal Republic for imports for metals and machinery.'

The Netherlands and the Origin of the Common Market

`In the integration in the ECSC, the Netherlands had exercised from the start of the negotiations weight and influence beyond its size.' `The Treaty had incorporated most of the safeguards for national political power on which the Dutch negotiators had insisted.' `Dutch diplomacy played, for example, a decisive role.' `It was Dutch Foreign Minister Beyen himself who proposed that the recompense should be that the EPC become a customs union. Furthermore, he proposed that automatic steps by which the tariffs between its member-states would be progressively eliminated should be written in detail into the draft EPC treaty by the assembly. Once the treaty was signed it would, at least between the Six, end the long history of national tariff bargaining.' `After the rejection of the Defense Community, Monnet and Spaak made energetic efforts to keep alive the idea of political union between the Six. But it was not from their efforts that the Treaties of Rome sprang. They sprang from a renewal of the Beyen proposals.' `This belief that the Beyen Plan, if adopted by the Six, could serve as the start of a wider process of tariff-reduction across Europe and thus as the bridge between a more integrated Six and the rest of the continent was important to its advance.'

`Adenauer was unswerving in his idea that Western European integration must be the basis of the Federal Republic's security and that it was ultimately the only chance of German unification.' As for France, almost everything France wanted out of the treaty it got. The supranational authority was weak. The initial stage of the custom union could be prolonged if France had still not brought is manufacturing costs and balance of payments into what was judged a satisfactory state. The treaty made an explicit commitment to maintain the high levels of welfare payments and the short working week to which most French governments had been committed since 1936 and the Popular Front.'

The Europeanization of agricultural protection

Agricultural protection had its roots from a renewed emphasis on land as a national resource and infiltration of agricultural supporters in positions of power. First, `the protection of European agriculture as it developed after 1945 was usually biased towards the interest of arable farmers.' Second, `the farmers' representative organizations became a quasi-official part of the administration in so many countries and farmers were able to gain a position where they regulated themselves.' `It is to be found in the pervasive belief that the land was a national resource which had been long neglected.'

The problems that came with national agricultural management were surpluses and their disposal. For example, `French surpluses of wheat and sugar were increasingly difficult to vent, could only be vented at high cost to the public purse.' Yet, the agricultural policy of `stimulating and directing ever greater output and surpluses left France no choice but to accept the more comprehensive arrangements demanded by its partners in the common market.'

The outcome was that the `Federal Republic was surely importing from Holland and France things which could have been more efficiently produced in Denmark or outside Europe.' `In retrospect therefore, the CAP was the Franco-Dutch agricultural trade bargain for which both countries had been searching for the first revisions of the Monnet Plan in 1948 and the French decision to become a greater food exporter. The outcome of the CAP was much more favorable to the agricultural vested interest than to the planners and economic reformers.'
The Common Agricultural Policy which propelled agriculture into the post-war political consensus demonstrated the `strength which integration would add to the rescue of the nation-state.'

Britain and western Europe

Unlike the other continental powers, in Britain, `trade and industry had a lesser place in policy formulation than the status of the currency and the international financial considerations, on which that was thought to depend.' Therefore, `it is in no way surprising that in Britain the will to national reassertion should have gathered its forces behind the financial service sector. Relative to the rest of the economy it was far more important than in other European economies.'

The British cabinet considered but ultimately rejected Operation Robot, which would have allowed the sterling rate to float with an eye of `reestablishing sterling as an international currency with unrestricted use' and overturning the `long-run fixed exchange rates established at Bretton Woods' so that the `dollar and the pound would be the two major international currencies of the post-war period.' Robot's failure was attributed to the failure of American and international support. Undeterred, Rowan and Bolton pitted the Collective Approach, which `responded to the criticisms of Robot by envisaging a much more managed and restricted float, and thus a smaller potential devaluation. And it was no longer a plan for sterling-dollar convertibility alone but for other major currencies to establish dollar convertibility at the same time as sterling.'

Yet, `there was no support to be found in Western Europe for the way in which the United Kingdom hoped to establish convertibility between European currencies and the dollar, and this inevitably meant that there would be strong objections in America also.' `For all the Western European states any progress towards convertibility which might involve even a temporary loss of trade was to be rejected, and especially anything which jeopardized their common commercial arrangements. For Britain, on the other hand, all those arrangements were of much less importance.' In Germany, `when consulted, the industrial association, Deutscher Industrie-und Handelstag was even more insistent that any division between convertible and inconvertible currencies within EPU was a threat to German exports. Anything, they argued, which broke up the EPU would hold back the rapidly growing exports to EPU members who would no longer be able to pay for them with the same ease.

Milward concluded that `British policy was not only based on a complete misunderstanding of the strength of the common interest that bound the continental EPU members together, it was also a serious misjudgment of the United Kingdom's own economic strength.' `The true constraints of interdependence with Western Europe, the extent to which the future growth of British manufacturing did depend on continental Europe, were not accepted.'

British and German manufacturing in the post-war world

Milward asserted that `the root cause of British commercial failure was the failure of British manufacturing.' First, they made the mistake of marginalizing the European market and focusing on the Commonwealth: the `failure of British producers to change the pre-war pattern was that as with cars, they saw Western Europe as a subsidiary market.' This `British reluctance to compete in Europe in the long run only helped the spread of German manufactured exports outside Europe.'

Second, they failed to compete effectively with other foreign exporters: `In spite of eight years of government subsidies, a large government market, and freedom from German competition, they argued their complete inability to compete on equal terms.' The chairman of the British economic planning committee even remarked, `They [British manufacturers] ought to be told to concentrate on building up this competitive position and not to rely upon the elimination of competition by a perpetuation of control. It strikes me as defensive and indeed defeatist state of mind.'

By examining the auto industry, Milward found that `the `stop-go' effects of credit policy on the domestic market likewise could have been counteracted by increasing exports, but at the crucial period, 1955-6, exports actually fell. The problems of the British car industry were of its own making, an inability to compete in foreign markets.' `When export markets had been there for the taking British manufacturing had not expanded sufficiently to take them. In conclusion,

Envoi 1992

`European states were reborn as puny weaklings into the post-war world. They developed particular bundles of domestic policies to satisfy a coalition of political interests. To support those policies, they had available an inherited international order which had accepted to a varying degree the principles of interdependence. Some of the domestic policies which they chose could be advanced through this interdependent economic order. Others could not and required something different, integration. The close similarity between the sets of domestic policies chosen by Western European countries meant that integration was a path which could be chosen with reasonable hopes of success on several occasions.'

`To succeed, every step in the creation of the Community had always to be at the intersection of two tensions; the advancement of national policies had to be combined with a guarantee that Germany could be safely contained politically within the framework. Only when both objectives could be simultaneously achieved were countries ready to abandon elements of national sovereignty.'

`The states will make further surrenders of sovereignty if, but only if, they have to in the attempt to survive. Appealing though the idea of a united Europe is, the strength of the European Community does not lie in that abstract appeal.' `It lies in the weakness of the nation-state. The European rescue of the nation-state marked some limits of the state's capacity to satisfy by its own powers and within its own frontiers the demands of its citizens.'