The end of the West: the once and future Europe
Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). International Affairs © 2011 The Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Volume 87, Issue 4, pages 975–984, July 2011
How to Cite
CONLEY, H. A. (2011), The end of the West: the once and future Europe. International Affairs, 87: 975–984. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2011.01014.x
- Issue online: 1 JUL 2011
- Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2011
Europe and the United States—the West—urgently need political leadership, economic fortitude and a clear vision of the future if they are to contend with the challenges posed by emerging regional powers and to resist the downward pressures of ‘relative decline’, the central focus of David Marquand's book, The end of the West: the once and future Europe. Central to this goal will be the West's ability to ‘rebalance’ between its institutions and democracy; its power and commitments; and its political and moral authority. Europe must ‘rebalance’ on issues related to ethnicity and identity, governance and authority, and civilization and territory. EU enlargement and its institutional reform processes have exacerbated this imbalance. American foreign policy objectives currently exceed its resources and are hampered by lack of strategic clarity and intellectual vision which keeps the United States from achieving an adaptive leadership model more capable of successfully operating in an increasingly complex and multipolar world. For Europe to become internally healthy and externally productive—both politically and economically—it needs to regain balance between its utopian, institutional objectives and democratic support for its future ambitions and policy course. Strong leadership and a powerful vision of prosperity from the West will be vital to return the transatlantic partnership to global economic and political advantage.