The book further shows the significance of the institutional interplay within the EU, and between EU institutions, member states and external actors led by their own internal dynamics to explain policy outcomes. It investigates to what extent the perceptions of the international community towards the European Communities and the EU have been influenced by the complexity of their decision-making and the difficulty of reconciling the views of member states on key external relations issues. The authors also study the interplay of non-EU countries and the EU within the broader context of international and regional institutions and forums for international cooperation.
Containing Chaos: American Social Sciences and Perceptions of a United Europe in the 1940s and 1950s
American Social Sciences and Perceptions of a United Europe in the 1940s and 1950s
The European Union (EU) presents the era from 1945-1958 as a turning point in European history, when European elites bravely established a new tradition of trans-national cooperation to restore the continent to the path of modernity and Enlightenment. Whilst the EU acknowledged the help of the United States (US) in helping to fund these endeavours, the intellectual influence of the American social sciences is rarely recognised. Transnational cooperation in Europe was a huge project that relied on a transatlantic network of elites to make it possible: business leaders, cultural leaders, policy- and decision-makers all played central roles. Traditionally, academic research into the influence of this network since the 1950s has focused on the question of the “real” role played by the US policymakers in the development of post-war European cooperation. Two broad arguments have emerged, one arguing that European elites established the institutions of European integration to serve their national interests; the other that American policymakers forced European cooperation as precondition for aid. Recently, researchers have begun to look at the role played by various parts of the wider transatlantic network.2 What has emerged is that ← 225 | 226 → Americans had an influence over the intellectual basis on which unity was sought; that is, they had an influence over the vision of a united Europe that emerged in Europe in the 1950s, as...
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