In this provocative book, renowned public intellectual Ivan Krastev reflects on the future of the European Union—and its potential lack of a future. With far-right nationalist parties on the rise across the continent and the United Kingdom planning for Brexit, the European Union is in disarray and plagued by doubts as never before. Krastev includes chapters devoted to Europe's major problems (especially the political destabilization sparked by the more than 1.3 million migrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia), the spread of right-wing populism (taking into account the election of Donald Trump in the United States), and the thorny issues facing member states on the eastern flank of the EU (including the threat posed by Vladimir Putin's Russia). He concludes by reflecting on the ominous political, economic, and geopolitical future that would await the continent if the Union itself begins to disintegrate.
“Britain did more than any other country to promote the European Union’s enlargement to the former communist East. It is now leaving the EU in part because of that enlargement and the extra budget payments and disruptive immigration it brought in its wake. Ivan Krastev, who is one of the sharpest and most elegant political writers to emerge from eastern Europe in recent years (he is now based in Vienna and is a rising star in America, too), would appreciate the paradox. In this slim volume, which is a treasure chest of striking observations and colourful vignettes, the Bulgarian commentator brings a distinctly East European sense of tragedy to Europe’s multiple crises….this is a treat of a book that combines elegant phrase-making with much political wisdom.”—David Goodhart, founder of Prospect Magazine writing for The Sunday Times Magazine.
"Ivan Krastev's elegant and insightful volume establishes him as the most brilliant and iconoclastic thinker on Europe's future. This short aphoristic volume turns many of the established ways of looking at Europe on their head, bringing added depth to discussions of populism and Europe's political counterrevolution. At a time of pessimism, Krastev ends in a strangely optimistic way with his paean to the legitimacy that can come from the very act of survival."—Mark Leonard, European Council on Foreign Relations
"Few people question the conventional wisdom like Ivan Krastev."—George Soros
"Written with the author's characteristic verve, this bracing book offers a fresh understanding of the current crisis in Europe. Motivated by apprehension yet tinged with realistic optimism, it powerfully highlights why clashing solidarities, declining compassion, resurgent nationalism, and growing geographic divisions demand creative, perhaps surprising, acts of democratic guardianship."—Ira I. Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time
"To read this book is to be in the company of one of the great European minds of today. With his characteristic combination of perceptiveness and sympathy, Ivan Krastev gives us in this learned essay just what we need to understand Europe's crisis—and to contemplate our own."—Timothy Snyder, Yale University
"Ivan Krastev is one of the sharpest and most elegant political writers to emerge from eastern Europe in recent years. In this slim volume, which is a treasure chest of striking observations and colorful vignettes, the Bulgarian commentator brings a distinctly East European sense of tragedy to Europe's multiple crises."—Sunday Times
"Ivan Krastev is one of the most interesting thinkers of our time. A juggler of paradoxes, an assailer of conventional wisdoms—you may not always agree but you will never be bored. At once an antidote to foolish optimism and to resigned pessimism, this fascinating meditation on the collapse of Europe as we know it is classic Krastev."—Robert Kagan