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Europeanization AS globalization

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Intellectuals of all countries – well, they don’t necessarily unite but show a certain tendency, especially in Europe I feel, to bash the US for its aggressive behavior in world politics. If they don’t achieve in imposing their rules via the international institutions they control like for instance IMF or World Bank, they will, intellectuals say, show their muscles – or use them. In the wake of Antonio Negri’s and Michael Hardt’s Empire (Harvard University Press 2000) this tendency became even more tangible despite the author’s explicit statement: „The United States does not, and indeed no nation-state can today, form the center of an imperialist project.” (Op. cit., xiii) Having this said, I do not want to minimize the vanity nor the hypocrisy of US politics, especially in its present form. However, it is something different which is at the core of the present issue of EUROSTUDIA. Transatlantic Journal for European Studies.

France is a beautiful country where the relationship between intellectuals and politicians sometimes seems closer than at other places. This is probably one reason why French politicians show a particular inclination to join the above mentioned critique of the US. This became very clear in the context of the European Convention which aimed at drafting a European Constitution recently boiled down to a simple treaty. There Europe has been praised as the last bastion against globalization in the American sense. Even if more than simple propaganda and intended to underline real efforts, this point of view is likely to obscure the enormous impact of Europeanization on the global level and Europe’s responsibility for the existing “terms of trade” in international relations. Since the last enlargement round as by January 2007, the single market of the twenty-seven member states counts almost 500 million citizens and consumers. Deepness of integration as well as the diversity accomplished makes of that “Single market” not only a unique region but a powerhouse of global trade, investment, mergers and capital flow (see for example Neil Fligstein/Frédéric Mérand, „Globalization or europeanization? Evidence on the European economy since 1980”, in: Acta sociologica 45 (2002), pp. 7-22). So let’s face it: Europe has in no way regained some kind of second (or third, fourth…) innocence after the atrocities of the age of discoveries and colonialism. It rather continues to be highly influential on the international level, in the framework of international multilateral institutions as well as in the bilateral context: at times in the shadow of the US, but generally in a very active and even aggressive way.

Given this situation, the upcoming two issues of EUROSTUDIA are dedicated to analyzing various aspects of Europeanization in the global context. The present issue is particularly dealing with the Doha Development Round of WTO. Thus the first eight articles, based on contributions to an international conference on the topic organized by Kurt Hübner from UBC/Vancouver who provides an overview, consider various aspects of this negotiation process. Three case-studies concerning different aspects of European integration are added to this core topic. The next issue of EUROSTUDIA will deal in particular with the relationship Europe – Africa.

Dietmar Köveker
(Editor)