Europe – a continent in the making (10-38)

Discussion questions (38)

  1. Why is there so much economic variation between, but also within, European countries? And what does it mean to say that they are almost all "postindustrial"?
  2. The new democracies of central and eastern Europe (CEE) have had to adapt to life after communism: can you point to particular successes and failures, and how do we explain them?
  3. How would you define "globalization" and what impact, if any, is it having on Europe? If you are opposed to it, why?
  4. Europeanization doesn't mean that all the continent's countries are becoming more like one another. How does the organization and extent of welfare in different states, for instance, illustrate this point?
  5. It's often assumed that Europe is becoming more classless, gender-blind and secular. Do you think that's the case? [Explain your answer.]
  6. Why do some inequalities seem to mobilize people politically and others, which are just as glaring and have political ramifications, apparently excite little interest?
  7. Why might it always be unrealistic to talk about Europeans, or for that matter about, say, Brits or Spaniards or Belgians or Cypriots or Slovaks or Estonians or Latvians?

Additional analysis

  1. What do you think are the most interesting issues encompassed by "European politics," and why? How might these issues affect (or shape) Europe as a "continent in the making"? Be specific.
  2. Which of the "key points" in this chapter are the most "key"? Rank order your selections and justify your choices.
  3. Which of the boxes in this chapter did you find most enlightening or useful? Why?
  4. Compose a question to facilitate substantive discussion of something in this chapter.

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