Max Haller's impressive book presents an analysis of the process of European integration which keeps the relation between elites and citizens at the forefront. It is shown on the basis of new empirical data (surveys, interviews, analyses of documents and biographies) that European integration has been led since the beginning by the elites and that today there exists a considerable split between elites and citizens; this split is becoming more profound in the course of time.
The book covers the following themes:
- the structure, interests and behaviour of the different elites (political, economic, bureaucratic)
- the expectations and perceptions of the populations concerning the integration process and the elites
- the strategies of the elites to win the consent of the people, in view of widespread scepticism
- proposals for reform of the EU, especially with regard to a strengthening of democratic elements which could reduce the split between elites and citizens.
A timely and original read, this book will be a useful addition to the library of any political sociologist, political scientist or scholar of European integration.