German Europe by Ulrich Beck [EPUB]
25 September 2016, 01:39
2013 | EPUB | 0.8MB
The euro crisis is tearing Europe apart. But the heart of the matter is that, as the crisis unfolds, the basic rules of European democracy are being subverted or turned into their opposite, bypassing parliaments, governments and EU institutions. Multilateralism is turning into unilateralism, equality into hegemony, sovereignty into the dependency and recognition into disrespect for the dignity of other nations. Even France, which long dominated European integration, must submit to Berlin’s strictures now that it must fear for its international credit rating.
How did this happen? The anticipation of the European catastrophe has already fundamentally changed the European landscape of power. It is giving birth to a political monster: a German Europe.
Germany did not seek this leadership position - rather, it is a perfect illustration of the law of unintended consequences. The invention and implementation of the euro was the price demanded by France in order to pin Germany down to a European Monetary Union in the context of German unification. It was a quid pro quo for binding a united Germany into a more integrated Europe in which France would continue to play the leading role. But the precise opposite has happened. Economically the euro turned out to be very good for Germany, and with the euro crisis Chancellor Angela Merkel became the informal Queen of Europe.
The new grammar of power reflects the difference between creditor and debtor countries; it is not a military but an economic logic. Its ideological foundation is ‘German euro nationalism’ - that is, an extended European version of the Deutschmark nationalism that underpinned German identity after the Second World War. In this way the German model of stability is being surreptitiously elevated into the guiding idea for Europe.
The Europe we have now will not be able to survive in the risk-laden storms of the globalized world. The EU has to be more than a grim marriage sustained by the fear of the chaos that would be caused by its breakdown. It has to be built on something more positive: a vision of rebuilding Europe bottom-up, creating a Europe of the citizen. There is no better way to reinvigorate Europe than through the coming together of ordinary Europeans acting on their own behalf.
The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America's Role in the World [EPUB]
24 September 2016, 23:49
2016 | EPUB | 0.97MB
Authoritative and original, The Long Game is a controversial assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy legacy. Too often, critical discussions concerning American foreign policy are divorced from the political reality in which leaders face choices and make decisions. Here, consummate White House insider Derek Chollet corrects common misperceptions to show how President Obama has done more to alter American foreign policy than any Democratic president since Kennedy.
Ten years after 9/11 and three years into his presidency, President Obama was ready to shelve the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and shift his foreign-policy focus to bolstering the power of America’s presence in the international community. his foreign-policy strategy was to be founded on economic strength and global authority—but history intruded. Instead, in the coming years, Syria disintegrated; ISIS emerged; Egypt, Ukraine, and post-Qaddafi Libya erupted. Russia has resurfaced as a military threat to Europe, and America has inexorably declined. The world order today is as complicated as it was at the end of the Cold War. President Obama is not to blame.
With new and surprising insights, Derek Chollet reveals that Obama has largely remained true to the policies he outlined before taking office: extracting US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan; deemphasizing military force as the primary tool of American power; rebalancing toward Asia; involving Congress into decisions about the use of force; and pursuing bold policy goals on issues like climate change, trade, and nuclear disarmament. Ultimately, Obama’s policies at home and abroad have been restoring American power, not squandering it. And by redefining American foreign policy, Obama has defied official Washington. The Long Game boldly sums up the core tenets and names Obama’s highly successful doctrine: to position the US to win “the long game.”
Making Public in a Privatized World: The Struggle for Essential Services [PDF]
24 September 2016, 13:38
2016 | PDF | 1.04MB
In the wake of recent widespread failures of privatization efforts, many communities in the global south now seek new, progressive ways to revitalize the public sector. From rural Guatemalan towns holding the state accountable for public health to an alliance of waste pickers in India and decentralized solar electricity initiatives in Africa, people worldwide are rising up with innovative public service solutions to difficult issues.
Making Public in a Privatized World explores all of these cases and more, with essays that uncover the radically different ways grassroots movements have proved themselves as successful alternatives of essential public services where privatized efforts have failed. Using numerous in-depth case studies, this book offers probing insights from a diverse range of contributors from across the world, including academics, activists, unionists, and social movement organizers. A timely collection, Making Public in a Privatized World addresses the growing worldwide interest in exciting alternatives to privatization in both developed and developing countries.