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Named one of Foreign Affairs Magazine’s “Best Books of 2016“
In today’s Europe, deep cracks are showing in the system of political cooperation that was designed to prevent the geopolitical catastrophes that ravaged the continent in the first half of the 20th century. Europeans are haunted, once again, by the specters of nationalism, fascism, and economic protectionism. Instead of sounding the alarm, many conservatives have become cheerleaders for the demise of the European Union (EU).
Infographic on the Euroskeptics:
This compelling book represents the first systematic attempt to justify the European project from a free-market, conservative viewpoint. Although many of their criticisms are justified, Dalibor Rohac contends that Euroskeptics are playing a dangerous game. Their rejection of European integration places them in the unsavory company of nationalists, left-wing radicals, and Putin apologists. Furthermore, their defense of the nation-state against Brussels is ahistorical.
He convincingly shows that the flourishing of democracy and free markets in Europe has gone hand in hand with the integration project. Europe’s pre-EU past, in contrast, was marked by a series of geopolitical calamities. Instead of advocating for the end of the EU, Rohac argues that conservatives must come to the rescue of the integration project by helping to reduce the EU’s democratic deficit and turning it into an engine of economic dynamism and prosperity.
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“If you think that ‘Euroscepticism’ is a conservative project, then think again: Dalibor Rohac makes the Hayekian case for the European Union — and it will surprise you.”
— Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“There is a conservative, freedom-based case for the European Union, and this book is the very best place to find it. This is a highly original and readable treatment of some of the most important issues facing the world today.”
— Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics, George Mason University; General Director, Mercatus Center
“In this timely and convincing study, Dalibor Rohac holds up not just the European Union but integration itself as the best road to peace and prosperity — and he does so from a conservative perspective. His message is critically important for those on the right and on the left who are in the process of undermining the West’s single most outstanding achievement since World War II. “
— Charles Gati, Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
“Timely, powerfully argued and well researched — Rohac nails the factual errors and logical flaws in the conservative Eurosceptic case.”
— Edward Lucas, Senior Editor, The Economist
“Dalibor Rohac has written a very important book: He convincingly undermines the arguments of the fundamentalist opponents of the European Union while equally skillfully unmasking its weaknesses and excesses and pointing out what are the necessary reforms in the EU.”
— Leszek Balcerowicz, Professor of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics; Chairman of the Board, FOR Foundation; former Minister of Finance, Poland
“Dalibor Rohac’s ‘Towards an Imperfect Union’ is perfectly timed before the British referendum on staying or leaving the European Union. Nor could his ‘Conservative Case for the EU’ be more precisely targeted. The author has the perfect credentials too: a Central European Thatcherite working at the Republican-leaning American Enterprise Institute. Conservatives—that is, people whom Edmund Burke and Adam Smith would recognize as such—should urgently consider what is nostalgia for the world of Westphalian nation-states and what is the least-bad, really existing arrangement for the European half of the Western world. Rohac provides persuasive arguments for improving rather than dismantling the EU with a welcome voice of reason in a dangerously unhinged world.”
— Radosław Sikorski, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
“The free-market argument against Brexit is laid out in a new book called ‘Towards an Imperfect Union: A Conservative Case for the EU.’ It’s by Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and a visiting fellow at the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom. Rohac, a native of Slovakia, is a true-blue conservative who wrote a series of articles harshly criticizing EU policies such as farm subsidies. While standing by those criticisms, he writes that ‘in the past two years, I have come to the realization that, for all its flaws, the European project has been beneficial for the continent.’”
—Peter Coy, Economics Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
“‘Towards an Imperfect Union’ mounts a formidable defense of the rationale of the European project. . . . The consequences of breaking up the European Union are not foreseeable and could very well be unpleasant. Stepping into the unknown in this way, Mr. Rohac concludes, is not something that any true conservative should be doing.”
— Brendan Simms, author of “Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, From 1453 to the Present”
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