This new book provides a comprehensive analysis of Europe on the brink of political disintegration. Observers of the European Union (EU) could be forgiven for thinking that it is in a state of permanent crisis. The Union has been beset with high levels of Eurozone debt, Russian intervention and armed conflict in Ukraine, refugees fleeing conflict zones in North Africa and the Middle East, and the decision of Britain to leave the European Union. This text offers a concise and readable assessment of the dynamics, character and consequences of these four crises and the increasingly real possibility of European disintegration. High levels of socio-economic interdependence and institutionalization have failed to result in an ever closer union, and yet the proposed theories of disintegration also fall short. Webber instead shows that it is only by looking at the role of the EU's dominant member, Germany, in each crisis that the potential for an increasingly fragmented Europe becomes clear. Until now, Germany has been the EU's stabilizing force but this is no longer guaranteed. The fate of the integration process will depend on whether other, more inclusive forms of stabilizing leadership may emerge to fill the vacuum created by Berlin's incapacity. This text is the ideal companion for upper undergraduate and postgraduate students of the European Union, as part of degrees in Politics, International Relations or European Studies, or for anyone interested in the crises of the European Union.
For eight brief years, before he was tragically killed in a mysterious air crash during the Second World War, Prince George, Duke of Kent, son of King George V and Queen Mary, and his beautiful wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, were the British monarchy's - indeed, high society's - most glamorous royal couple; and as golden royal icons, they are still remembered. As a young man voraciously addicted to drugs and sex with men as much as women, marriage and parenthood for the impetuously wayward playboy prince, with his nightclubbing lifestyle and intimate liaisons, was seen as the only stabilizing influence. Enter the stylish and sophisticated Princess Marina, the cultured, artistic, and multilingual youngest daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and his Russian-born wife, Grand Duchess Yelena Vladimirovna. As Duke and Duchess of Kent, George and Marina were the Crown's most glittering representatives, not least in the aftermath of the abdication of George's adored elder brother, the briefly reigned King Edward VIII, the man not only with whom he had shared both home and high-flying lifestyles but who had helped cure him of his addiction to morphine and cocaine. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gildart Jackson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/007209/bk_tant_007209_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Russia has embarked upon a difficult process of systemic transformation and economic opening up. While the initial strong GDP decline seemed to have ended in 1997, the real development was facing even more difficult problems as output declined sharply after the Ruble and banking crisis of August 1998: inflation started to increase again, exports and imports were falling, capital flight increasing and unemployment rising. There is broad disappointment in Russia regarding the transformation failure in 1998 since so many people had hoped that the end of the Soviet command economy would bring democracy, prosperity and international integration. While Poland has been able to double per capita income in the 1990s it has fallen by 50% in Russia and this despite considerable IMF involvement and some (modest) support from other international organizations. What were the reasons for transformation failure in the 1990s? What are the ingredients for long term sustainable transformation? What are the internal and international requirements to avoid a second - possibly tragic - failure of transformation in Russia? An international group of researchers has focussed on these problems during a two-year research project financed by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. A series of papers were presented at workshops in Potsdam, Bonn and Moscow in 1999 where this book is devoted to four important issues: the Russian transformation crisis, the topic of restructuring, the need for stabilizing Russia and the requirements for modernizing Russia.