European Disintegration? A Way Forward

Issue Date October 2012
Volume 23
Issue 4
Page Numbers 39-48
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The present crisis of the Euro is a near perfect example of how causal complexity, unanticipated consequences, and decisional uncertainty can have a significant and cumulative impact on regional integration. In theory, this should be the crisis that will drive the EU from economic to political integration. In practice, the outcome—at least, so far—has been the just opposite. Could it be that what was supposed to be a ‘good’ crisis has turned out to be a very ‘bad’ one? For not only is the crisis of greater magnitude at the supranational level than expected, but it also seems to have penetrated much deeper and more negatively into national political institutions and public opinion. It is even plausible to imagine a vicious triangle emerging: first, the collapse of the Euro; then, the collapse of the European Union and, finally, the collapse of democracy in its member states.

About the Author

Philippe C. Schmitter, professor emeritus in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, previously taught at the University of Chicago and Stanford University. He is the coeditor (with Guillermo O’Donnell and Laurence Whitehead) of the seminal four-volume series Transitions from Authoritarian Rule.

View all work by Philippe C. Schmitter