In today’s Europe, deep cracks are showing in the system of political cooperation that was designed to prevent a recurrence of the geopolitical catastrophes that ravaged the continent in the first half of the twentieth century. Europeans are haunted, once again, by the specters of nationalism, fascism, and economic protectionism. Instead of sounding the alarm, many conservatives have become cheerleaders for the demise of the European Union (EU).

Towards an Imperfect Union is the first systematic attempt to justify the European project from a free-market, conservative viewpoint. Although many of the conservatives’ criticisms are justified, Dalibor Rohac contends that Eurosceptics are playing a dangerous game. Their rejection of European integration places them in the unsavory company of nationalists, left-wing radicals, and Putin apologists. Their defense of the nation-state against Brussels, furthermore, is ahistorical. The flourishing of democracy and free markets in Europe has gone hand in hand with the integration project. Europe’s pre-EU past, in contrast, is marked by a series of geopolitical calamities. Instead of advocating for the end of the EU, conservatives must come to the rescue of the integration project by helping to reduce the EU’s democratic deficit and turning it into an engine of economic dynamism and prosperity.


By Roman & Littlefield