CIAO DATE: 04/02

International Spectator

The International Spectator

Volume XXXVI No.3 (July - September 2001)


IAI Library Notes
By Maritza Cricorian


Contemporary Greece and Europe/ edited by Achilleas Mitsos and Elias Mossialos. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - x, 482 p. - ISBN 1-84014-728-8
The five-part book contains an updated version of about half the papers presented at a 1998 conference analysing the process of Greece's integration into Europe and its impact on the country. Following an introductory section, which describes Greece's foreign policy in the European and international contexts, the need for reform generated by EU membership and Greece's contribution to European integration, the second part deals with the country's participation in Economic and Monetary Union. The authors are moderately optimistic about the possibility for economic development in Greece but agree on the need for structural reforms, privatisation, strategies for labour market flexibility and a reduction in "public consumption". The third part is dedicated to the adjustment and modernisation of the state: six chapters examine the implications for Greece of the Amsterdam Treaty; the impact of European membership on Greek economic and political development and on countering the influence of lobbies; privatisation policies, in particular those of the Simitis government; the effect of public capital and infrastructures on Greek private industry; the Europeanisation of regional policies; the prejudice that the Greek Orthodox Church is an obstacle to integration. The fourth part looks at social policy and in particular reform of the welfare state and poverty and anti-poverty policies. The fifth and final part extensively analyses Greek foreign relations. The Europeanisation of Greek foreign policy, Greece's regional role in the Balkans and towards Turkey, the policy of cooperation towards the former Yugoslavia, the economic initiatives in the Balkans and their impact on Greek economic development are only some of the subjects broached in this section.

Diritti umani e sicurezza regionale : il sistema europeo / Angela Di Stasi. - Napoli : Editoriale Scientifica, c2000. - XII, 291 p. - (Collana di studi e documenti di diritto internazionale e comunitario ; 24). - ISBN 88-87293-70-8
The EU Charter of fundamental rights : text and commentaries / edited by Kim Feus. - London : Federal Trust, c2000. - 268 p. - (Constitution for Europe ; 1). - ISBN 1-903403-04-9
Human rights in Europe : a study of the European convention on human rights / J.G.Merrills, A.H.Robertson. - 4.ed. - New York : Juris Publishing ; Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2001. - xxii, 362 p. - (Melland Schill studies in international law). - ISBN 1-929446-09-8. - ISBN 0-7190-5837-6
Rewriting rights in Europe / edited by Linda Hancock, Carolyn O'Brien. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xviii, 221 p. - ISBN 0-7546-2002-6
These books attest to the importance of fundamental human rights in Europe, of the interaction between human rights and European rights, of the correlation between rights and the nation-state, and of the role of transnational organisations like the EU in enforcing rights beyond national borders.

The first is an interesting essay that analyses the correlation between human rights and what is defined as "human" security, that is, security taken in its broadest sense - a correlation which has till now been ignored by internationalist jurisprudence. The author starts out from the assumption that new legal orders have emerged or are emerging in the international community, which call for a a re-organisation of the main subjects of law - individuals and states - and a redefinition of the legal spheres of the international security regime, as well as a verification of the suitability of the sources of international and European law and of the recourse to "soft law". In the first part of the book, an attempt is made to identify the characteristics of "human" security; the second part is a study of the European and pan-European security system, defining the political, diplomatic and legal guarantees offered by European organisations. A third part on inter-American and African regimes should be coming out soon.

The second book is the result of a series of seminars on human rights in Europe sponsored by the Federal Trust for Education and Research. It is broken down into four parts which bring together the opinions of eminent figures on the political, legal, socio-economic and institutional aspects of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, as set down in the July 2000 draft (Charte 4422/00, Convent 45). Each of the 17 chapters is preceded by a brief "executive summary" contains the text of the articles as approved at the October 2000 Biarritz summit. Most authors seem to be convinced of the importance of the socio-economic rights and the need for synergy with the European Convention on Human Rights. A brief list of abbreviations would have been a useful aid.

The third book traces the development of the most advanced European system of human rights safeguards from 1953 to November 1998 (application of Protocol no. 11). Following an introduction providing the historical background, this fourth revised and expanded edition of a classic on institutional and concrete aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights set into the broader European context, analyses the rights guaranteed by the Convention, split up by group and illustrated with examples of legal cases taken from legal practice in Strasbourg. It then goes on to explain the purposes and functions of the European Convention and concludes with an examination of the European Court of Human Rights and a consideration of future developments. Naturally the Convention and the amending Protocols can be found in the appendix.

The fourth book looks at a wide range of issues relative to rights, citizenship and sovereignty in the European context. Its 11 chapters deal with the conceptualisation of rights as the "basic building blocks of political morality"; a redefinition of the rights of European women in terms of human rights; the rights of minorities in France, with particular reference to the Front National; the needs and aspirations of the Central and Eastern European minorities; the relationship between post-communist institutions and culture; the economic rights expected by European citizens; the economic impact of enlargement to the east; the legal rights of the states signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights; the International Criminal Court.

Britain in the European Union today / Colin Pilkington. - 2.ed. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2001. - xvi, 234 p. - (Politics today). - ISBN 0.7190-5791-4
The rules of integration : institutionalist approaches to the study of Europe / edited by Gerald Schneider and Mark Aspinwall. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2001. - xii, 217 p.- (European Policy Research Unit Series). - ISBN 0-7190-5799-X
Two books dedicated to Europe and European integration, but with different approaches. A thorough revision and update of the 1994 edition, the first is meant as an introduction for students and a broader readership to British EU membership and, more precisely, to the impact that it has had on the British political system and on British citizens. The author does not hide pro-European sympathies, if only in reaction to the Euroscepticism of his fellow citizens.

The book is divided into three parts plus an appendix: the first retraces European integration from 1945 to 2000, with a chapter on European institutions; the second is focussed on Europe's impact on the British political system; the third part deals with the participation of British citizens in the democratic processes of the Union. Unlike the first, the second volume is aimed prevalently at academicians and researchers. Starting out from a meeting held in Oslo in 1996 that set up an international group of scholars who met on four further occasions to try to reconcile European and institutional studies, the book looks specifically at the differences between theoretical institutional traditions applied to European studies and tries to build a bridge to improve reciprocal understanding, on the assumption that they are all valid. Three institutional approaches are analysed: sociological, historical and rationalist, against a broad background ranging from the establishment of the institutions to their impact on decision-making. Each piece is followed by a comment by an author from an antogonistic theoretical school, providing an alternative view of the facts. The study concludes with a list of the areas in which misunderstandings and persist and proposes a considerable convergence and overlapping of the different theoretical schools.

The European Union-Maghrebian dialogue : echoes of disappointments past / William H. Lewis. - Washington : CSIS, 2001. - viii, 63 p. - (CSIS Report). - ISBN 0-89206-385-8
This work analyses the reasons for the substantial failure of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in all three baskets established in Barcelona in 1995, predicting that Europe will have little success in the future as well in encouraging political and economic reforms in the area and ensuring the Maghrebi support for the Barcelona Declaration. Of the seven chapters, three are dedicated specifically to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; the seventh and last chapter touches on the role of the United States in the area and towards the EU, hoping for a more active role in the search for convergence and synergy towards North Africa. An appendix contains the full text of the November 1995 Barcelona Declaration.

Germany and European order : enlarging NATO and the EU / Adrian Hyde-Price. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2000. - xviii, 270 p. - (Issues in German politics). - ISBN 0-7190-5428-1
The purpose of this book is not only to offer a theoretically informed and empirically grounded study of Germany's foreign and European policy, combining internationalist theory with foreign policy analysis, but to provide new conceptual instruments with which to analyse and define the concept of power in post-Cold War Europe. It starts out from the assumption that there is no longer a "German question", but that there are various "German questions" and that Germany and Europe have changed enormously since the war, becoming more democratic and interdependent. The essay takes a look at the changing nature of the European order and the Westphalian system of states, the implications for the European order of the dual enlargement of NATO and EU and, finally, Germany's role in that dual enlargement process and its ability to deal with the exigencies brought on by its geographic position (Mittellage). Methodologically, the book is permeated by the various internationalist theoretical schools: above all, the English school, but also social constructivism and classic realism which basically underlie the model of political analysis applied by the author.

Global political economy : understanding the international economic order / Robert Gilpin with the assistance of Jean M. Gilpin. - Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2001. - xii, 423 p. - ISBN 0-691-08676-1
This weighty tome is both the update and the completion of two preceding works by the author: The political economy of international relations (1987) and The challenge of global capitalism (2000). It analyses the globalisation of the world economy and its implications on the international political economy (IPE). The focus is on what the author defines as the "national systems of political economy" and their role in domestic and international economy. In other words, the author wonders whether the growing importance of the market in the functioning of the global economy means the end of the nation-state and the IPE in its broadest sense. He answer that they will remain dominant factors in the economy at the two levels. Methodologically, Gilpin seeks to combine political with economic analysis, taking acount of the latest theoretical developments and adopting a state-centred or realistic point of view.

Hang separately : cooperative security between the United States and Russia, 1985-1994 / by Leon V. Sigal. - New York : The Century Foundation Press, 2000. - xii, 397 p. - ISBN 0-87078-450-1
This volume is a report on the events of a recent period of history, Gorbachev's rise to power, by a privileged observer, a former member of the editorial board of the New York Times. Yet it is also draws on publicly accessible documents. Above all, it is an analysis of the behaviour of American politicians, hobbled by a traditionally realist approach. The story is one of opportunities not taken by the US to protect and promote its interests in Russia and to deal with the nuclear threat caused by the disintegration of the Soviet empire, something it could have achieved by committing itself to a cooperative security policy.

The international relations of the Middle East in the 21st century : patterns of continuity and change / edited by Tareq Y. Ismael. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xviii, 400 p. - ISBN 0-7546-1506-5
A collective effort, the book examines the impact of historical influences, regional policies and external interests on the Middle East region. It is made up of three parts: the first describes the regional system, the second analyses the sources of greatest tension among states, and the third looks at the international actors and historical factors of influence. In the first part, two chapters respectively describe the historical context and the contemporary patterns of cooperation and conflict; as well as the process of internationalisation that has taken place in the twentieth century. The second part examines conflicts over the environment and water, with particular attention to the Tigris/Euphrates issue; the pivotal economic and political role of Iraq and the war in the Gulf; the applicability of the logic of nuclear deterrence and the balance of powers in the twenty-first century; the role of international law in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The third and final section focuses on British policy in Palestine; relations between the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe countries, underlining the problems and the tasks they could share; a confrontation with the EU; the role of the US in the region and the more recent - confused and rhetorical - US Middle East policy; the two types of universalism - of the United Nation and of the Muslim ummah; the four ethical revolutions that the Muslim countries in the United Nations and the British Commonwealth have undergone (economic, racial, "gender" and green) in the last century. A fifth revolution is predicted for the twenty-first century in the field of culture.

The new millennium: challenges and strategies for a globalizing world / edited by Sai Felicia Krishna-Hensel. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xiv, 329 p. - (Global interdisciplinary studies series). - ISBN 0-7546-1391-7
A collection of essays, many of which were presented at conferences organised by the CISS/ISA in Paris in 1999 discussing, from an interdisciplinary point of view, the challenges and problems posed by globalisation and offering strategies to deal with them. The contributions are organised along four major lines corresponding to the four parts of the book. The first gives a global view of the international system and future trends, especially examining the influence of globalisation on the building of the new world order, the relation between global capital and global civilisation, a theoretical approach (neo-Parsonian), the challenges posed by the collapse of weaker states, democracy as fertile ground for corruption. The second part focuses on regional questions and more precisely, Russia's role in redefining the European security environment, the (mis)perceptions of the minorities in Greece, the global implications of the North Ireland peace agreement on the question of citizenship. The third section deals with economic and technological trends; the implications of bank regulations and reform on the financial system in the new millennium; the origins and future of the Asian crisis; the role of company portals in global communications; the role of information and communications technologies in the new national security scenario. Finally, the fourth and final part highlights the growing importance of the individual in a globalised world and, in particular, examines human rights and their relation to the globalisation of law in post-sovereign states; child labour in India as a global problem; the economic crisis in Mexico and its interaction with the American labour market.