It is fashionable when discussing current the crisis of the Euro to affect a retrospective Euroskepticism, suggesting that the crisis was both eminently foreseeable and unavoidable. Although no one denies how comforting it is to imagine being right all along, self-congratulation often gets in the way of serious analysis. Precisely because plans for the Euro have not worked out as many had hoped and planned, students of international affairs and history should pause to consider what happened, and why. For it is not true that everyone foresaw this crisis, just as it is untrue to imply that EU supporters were all starry-eyed idealists. Indeed, the architects of many of the decisions that led to the current situation believed they were acting in the most realistic way, even as they undermined the institutions they claimed to support. The problem in this historical homicide is not that there are not enough suspects, but that there are far too many. This presentation will consider the history and current crisis of European integration. It will discuss the immediate problems of the euro and the EU, but also reach past the politics of the moment and consider the most significant individuals and decisions that have led to where we are now.
Ronald J. Granieri is a specialist in Contemporary German and International History. A graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago, he has also studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Cologne. Recipient of a Federal Chancellor Scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and membership in the American Council on Germany’s Young Leader Program, he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Syracuse University, Furman University, and the University of Tübingen. He is the author of The Ambivalent Alliance: Konrad Adenauer, the CDU/CSU, and the West, 1949–1966 (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2003), and is currently completing a book entitled The Fall and Rise of German Christian Democracy, From Détente to Reunification, for Oxford University Press and working on a history of the Atlantic Community from Columbus to the present for Palgrave/Macmillan.
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