Euro tragedy: A drama in nine acts

Research output: Book/ReportBook

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

In May 1950, five years after the second of two catastrophic wars, European nations began building a magnificent structure of institutional cooperation and open trade borders to secure peace and prosperity. Then, in 1969, they took an astonishingly ill-advised leap towards a single currency-requiring a single monetary policy for vastly divergent economies. This was economic folly, critics untiringly warned. Worse, it carried the seeds of political division. Europe’s leaders went forward unheeding, and in January 1999, the tragedy of the euro began. This vivid and compelling chronicle describes how the euro improbably emerged through a narrow historical window as a flawed compromise wrapped in a false pro-European rhetoric of peace and unity. The book then situates the tragedy in a fast-paced global context and guides the reader through forced-and unforced-errors eurozone authorities committed during their long financial crisis. The euro unfolded as both economic and political tragedy. It weakened the growth potential of member states, which made financially vulnerable Europeans more anxious. It deepened the sense of unfairness and widened the division between nations. Now, the burden falls upon younger Europeans, a generation with a discouragingly bleak future. A compassionate view of European possibilities, EuroTragedy makes clear that the euro’s structural flaws will continue to haunt-especially along cracks in the Italian economy. Instead of centralizing authority to prop up an ossified pro-Europeanist model, it is time to loosen ties that bind too tightly so that a liberal order can once more flourish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages651
ISBN (Electronic)9780199351381
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Keywords

  • Economic integration
  • Euro
  • Europe
  • European project
  • Integration
  • Monetary union

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