Analyzes the potential social, political, and cultural implications of the recent changes in Eastern Europe; the declining influence of the superpowers; and the opportunities and pitfalls of a European community
Two historic transformations are under way in the Europe of the early 1990s. The first, sparked by the revolutions of autumn 1989, is the democratization of Eastern Europe. The second, driven by Jacques Delors and supported by Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl, is the rapid movement towards European integration, both economic and political.
In this timely and persuasive intervention, Bogdan Denitch argues that such a fateful conjunction offers an extraordinary opportunity for the European left. The historic antagonism between Communists and social democrats has been removed, whilst new institutions are being elaborated which could facilitate a pan-European progressive alliance. The reconstruc-tion of Eastern Europe, the unification of Germany, inadequate democracy in the European Community and the acknowledged need to negotiate a new social charter, pose a challenging agenda for the parties and social movements of the left across Europe.
Denitch argues that the emergence of Europe as a world power breaks the pattern of a bi-polar globe. It has been widely assumed that the Europe of 1992 will be simply a capitalist superstate. Denitch insists that if the left plays its full part in shaping the new confederation, a potential exists for something quite different. He introduces us to a new Europe without Thatcherism or Stalinism, and without the borders and missiles which have traditionally divided it. Such a Europe, counselled by Brandt and Bruntland and obliged to respond to ecological and internationalist campaigns, would be newly aware of its responsibilities to the South and to the creation of a habitable globe.