Book review: Julien Chaisse (Ed.), Sixty Years of European Integration and Global Power Shifts: Perceptions, Interactions and Lessons

Publication Date01 Nov 2020
AuthorEsther Erlings
DOI10.1177/0015732520947922
SubjectBook Review
Book Review
Julien Chaisse (Ed.), Sixty Years of European Integration and Global Power
Shifts: Perceptions, Interactions and Lessons. Oxford: Hart Publishing,
2020, £91.80, 520 pp., ISBN: 9781509933747.
At some 500 pages, Sixty Years of European Integration and Global Power Shifts
is not a brief bedtime story. Yet its page range reflects one of the book’s major
strengths: its comprehensive nature, which has become so characteristic of Julien
Chaisse’s work. Another of Chaisse’s fortes, to bring together a wide variety of
people working on different aspects of a certain theme, is equally displayed in the
book, which includes contributions from academics, legal practitioners (including
arbitrators), policy advisors and consultants, and a judge of the Court of Justice of
the European Union. These authors are, moreover, located around the globe, and
their different socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds allow for important
insights into the potential for both European and global integration.
The book aims to do two things: first, to provide ‘a critical analysis of EU
[European Union] integration and how this integration is perceived (internally
and externally)’, and, secondly, to explore ‘EU interactions with a number of
other countries and organisations [to assess] the EU role in global governance’
(p. 1). In respect of these objectives, the book is able to link to broader issues of
political integration, whilst remaining firmly embedded in a trade perspective—a
feature that is likely to be of interest to readers of the current journal. Beyond its
stated objectives, a third aim appears to be that of advocacy for the EU. The
introduction written by Chaisse is not merely an overview of the book’s contents
neatly woven together; it is a statement of advocacy in favour of European
integration as a model to be followed globally, presenting the book both as a call
for reform to make EU integration stronger and more effective, as well as for this
enhanced Union to take a step up in global governance. These objectives are
intertwined with what appear to be the two overarching questions the book poses
and seeks an answer to: (a) can the EU effectively, and in reality, serve as an
example for other parts of the world (or are the regions too diverse) and (b) does
the EU—to put it bluntly—have its own act together?
In addition to the introduction, the book consists of 19 chapters, divided in
three parts. Part I (European Legal Integration: Process, Difficulties and
Achievements) focuses on the EU’s historical process of integration and its
functioning today. It comprises chapters on the (then) European Court of Justice’s
work in establishing its legal regime and rule of law (Forrester QC); the
Foreign Trade Review
55(4) 535–537, 2020
© 2020 Indian Institute of
Foreign Trade
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/0015732520947922
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