Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Ronald Tiersky, the Joseph B. Eastman ’04 Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, has edited Euro-Skepticism: A Reader ($75, $24.95 paper, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2001), an anthology of contrary attitudes toward European integration.
Tiersky, who characterizes himself as a euro-realist, gathers arguments about the goals and methods of European integration from speeches, essays and other documents. Some appear here for the first time in English translation. The euro-skeptics, Tiersky writes, believe that “European Union is a mistake, indeed, that it is impossible.” Euro-pessimistic voices such as Stanley Hoffmann argue that after the 1960s, “Europe ‘beyond the nation-state’ had missed its moment.” The euro-phobic and euro-cynic, according to Tiersky, are “exotic extensions” of the euro-skeptic who believe a united Europe “cannot help but be anti-national, anti-democratic,” and a “conspiracy-without-a-center.”
Some of the viewpoints represented include the “Europe of the Nations” views of Charles de Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher, as well as the current French “sovereignists” such as Charles Pasqua and Jean-Pierre Chevènement, and more recent British arguments by Michael Portillo and Noel Malcolm. There are interviews with and analyses of far-right or “national-right” movements and their leaders—Jörg Haider and the Austrian Freedom party and Jean-Marie Le Pen and the French National Front. A Norwegian scholar, Kate Hansen Bundt, examines the case of Norway, the only country that has twice rejected EU membership. Historians argue that European integration overall is in some sense a great illusion or a misguided “division of the West.”
Tiersky’s most recent book was François Mitterrand: The Last French President (2000), a multi-faceted study of the controversial French president (1981-1995). Tiersky is the editor of the “Europe Today” series (Rowan & Littlefield), in which Euro-skepticism is published.