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Chapter 1

POLI 212 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Loose Coupling, Europeanisation, Social Mobility

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 212
Vincent Post

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European Politics (Bale) Chapter 1 Notes
Europe contains more genuinely democratic states than any other continent on earth.
Europe is not just a place, but an idea and an identity.
Economics, demographics and sociology all these aspects play a huge part in political
processes, preoccupations and possibilities. They help structure cleavages:
Cleavages are splits or divisions in a society that give rise to conflicts that may
well be expressed in political form often, though not necessarily, via the
formation of opposing parties representing people on either side of the split.
Lots of different definitions
Intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities
A process which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social
relations and transactions
A social process in which the constraints of geography on economics, political,
social and cultural arrangements recede
Also seen as western capitalist imperialism by another name
The end of the nation state and the rise of transnational states
People into empires
Key poit: The otiets early history as haraterized y pa-European
enterprises, like the Roman Empire, that rose to prominence and then, unable to
maintain a grip on their far-flung territories, fell into disrepair
Empires into nations
Later pan-European empires, such as the Holy Roman Empire, were even more
loosely coupled and gave way to smaller nations run more effectively by
monarchs (also religious power combined to mutual advantage with the military
and political power). Some of these with Spain in the vanguard but Britain not
far behind began to seek their own empires in the New Worlds of American
and India
Nations into states
Copetitio etee Europes oarhies, ad conflicts over religion,
encouraged warfare that needed to be paid for, leading to greater centralization
and to internal treaties that established some if not all the borders we know
today [states assumed an increasingly active role in their national economies,
not least in order to raise the tax revenue that could be used to boost military
strength, as well as to improve control over the increasingly industrialized
populations, be it through coercion through an expanded police apparatus or
through education, much of which aimed at the reinforcement of national
identity (Tilly)]
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By the late 18th etury, Europe as haraterized ot y oe hegeoi all
powerful) nation but by a so-called balance of power between countries such as
France, Britain, Austria and Prussia. Mix of monarchies and republics (most
famously France as a shining example to some and a dire warning to others)
The balance of power is an equilibrium existing between states (or groups of
states) when resources especially military resources are sufficiently evenly
distributed to ensure that no single state can dominate the others. The concept
was an essential part (and indeed aim) of European diplomacy and warfare from
at least the 17th century onwards
States into blocs
Alliaes that eded up driig the otiet i the First World War. Gerays
ambitions were opposed by its imperial rivals: France and Great Britain. Such of
war of attrition eventually favored the side with the greatest resources in terms
of men and material.
With the coming industry (and industrialized welfare) the tendency of states to
seek protective alliances combined with the ideological struggle between
capitalism and socialism to produce the Cold War a stand off between blocs led
by the USA and the USSR that split Europe between a Soviet-ruled east and a
west that sought peace and prosperity through European integration.
The new Europe
Something had to give The Soviet Union found itself financially unable both to
deliver its population a basic standard of living and to compete with the
American military
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, CEE countries were free to determine
their own destiny and overwhelmingly plumped for liberal capitalism. Many of
them also joined what has become the European Union (EU) (and NATO)
Europes ecooy – rich in variation
Europe is the hoe of ost of the orlds great tradig atios. Europea
eooies ary aordig to size, resoures ad history: size ist eerythig ut
the richest countries tend to be bigger, to have industrialized relatively earlier
and to have escaped communism. Although most European countries are richer
than they have ever been, unemployment has returned to haunt them.
During most of the postwar period, European governments operated on the
assumptions (Keynesian) that there was a trade-off between the two
(unemployment and inflation). In other words, if economic demand outstripped
supply, then there would be probably plenty of jobs around but inflation would
rise. However, government acted to reduce demand, then inflation would fall
but unemployment would rise. Many advanced industrial economies began to
suffer stagflation high inflation and higher unemployment.
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