Twenty years after the death of Mario Albertini (1919-1997), we have to acknowledge that his political ideas are still largely unknown to scholars in social sciences, particularly in the international debate that takes place mainly in English.

Publishing his writings in English is therefore one of the aims of this collection of essays, in collaboration with the review Il federalista/The Federalist founded by Albertini in 1959, and the review Il Politico, published by the Faculty (now Department) of Political and Social Sciences of Pavia University where Albertini taught from the 1950s onwards.

On Tyranny

Timothy Snyder

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

In today’s Europe, deep cracks are showing in the system of political cooperation that was designed to prevent 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). This compelling book represents the first systematic attempt to justify the European project from a free-market, conservative viewpoint. Although many of their criticisms are justified, Dalibor Rohac contends that Euroskeptics 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. He convincingly shows that 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, was marked by a series of geopolitical calamities. When British voters make their decision in June, they should remember that while Brexit would not be a political or economic disaster for the United Kingdom, it would not solve any of the problems that the “Leavers” associate with EU membership. Worse yet, its departure from the European Union would strengthen the centrifugal forces that are already undermining Europe’s ability to solve the multitude of political, economic, and security challenges plaguing the continent today. Instead of advocating for the end of the EU, Rohac argues that 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.

“This is one attempt to uncover how we got to this surreal political moment. It is also an attempt to predict how, under cover of shocks and crises, it could get a lot worse. And it’s a plan for how, if we keep our heads, we might just be able to flip the script and arrive at a radically better future.” — From the Introduction

Donald Trump’s takeover of the White House is a dangerous escalation in a world of cascading crises. His reckless agenda—including a corporate coup in government, aggressive scapegoating and warmongering, and sweeping aside climate science to set off a fossil fuel frenzy—will generate waves of disasters and shocks to the economy, national security, and the environment.

Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe Can Be Saved from Itself

Lorenzo Marsili & Niccolò Milanese, 2018

Europe might appear like a continent pulling itself apart. Ten years of economic and political crises have pitted North versus South, East versus West, citizens versus institutions. And yet, these years have also shown a hidden vitality of Europeans acting across borders, with civil society and social movements showing that alternatives to the status quo already exist. This book is at once a narrative of the experience of activism and a manifesto for change. Through analysing the ways in which neoliberalism, nationalism and borders intertwine, Marsili and Milanese – co-founders of European Alternatives – argue that we are in the middle of a great global transformation, by which we have all become citizens of nowhere. Ultimately, they argue that only by organising in a new transnational political party will the citizens of nowhere be able to struggle effectively for the utopian agency to transform the world.

Why Europe: Conversation with a Young Voter

Antonio Padoa Schioppa, 2019

The European Union is like an unfinished cathedral. In this Conversation with a Young Voter we explain just what is at stake for the future of Italy, Europe and beyond. We need to be aware how much of our future depends on the choices that will be made by the Member States and the EU. Young people, who are mostly in favour of a European vision of the future, must take up the call to play their part, as their role may well be decisive.

How to Lose a Country is an impassioned plea, a warning to the world that populism and nationalism don’t march fully-formed into government; they creep. Award winning author and journalist Ece Temelkuran, identifies the early-warning signs of this phenomenon, sprouting up across the world from Eastern Europe to South America, in order to define a global pattern, and arm the reader with the tools to root it out.

The Capital: A Novel

Robert Menasse, 2019

A highly inventive novel of ideas written in the rich European tradition, The Capital transports readers to the cobblestoned streets of twenty-first-century Brussels. Chosen as the European Union’s symbolic capital in 1958, this elusive setting has never been examined so intricately in literature. Translated with “zest, pace and wit” (Spectator) by Jamie Bulloch, Robert Menasse’s The Capital plays out the effects of a fiercely nationalistic “union.”

Those who championed globalisation once promised a world of winners, one in which free trade would lift all the world’s boats, and extremes of left and right would give way to universally embraced liberal values. The past few years have shattered this fantasy, as those who’ve paid the price for globalism’s gains have turned to populist and nationalist politicians to express fury at the political, media, and corporate elites they blame for their losses.

Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance?


In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only there but also back in the heartland of the West.


In this brilliant work of political history, Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes argue that the supposed end of Communism turned out to be only the beginning of the age of the autocrat. Reckoning with the history of the last thirty years, they show that the most powerful force behind the wave of populist xenophobia that began in Eastern Europe stems from resentment at the post-1989 imperative to become Westernized.

Through this prism, the Trump revolution represents an ironic fulfillment of the promise that the nations exiting from communist rule would come to resemble the United States. In a strange twist, Trump has elevated Putin’s Russia and Orba´n’s Hungary into models for the United States.

Written by two pre-eminent intellectuals bridging the East/West divide, The Light That Failed is a landmark book that sheds light on the extraordinary history of the fall of the Western ideal.

The full magnitude of Benedict Anderson’s intellectual achievement is still being appreciated and debated. Imagined Communities remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism, filling the vacuum that previously existed in the traditions of Western thought. Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations.

Written with exemplary clarity, this illuminating study traces the emergence of community as an idea to South America, rather than to nineteenth-century Europe. Later, this sense of belonging was formed and reformulated at every level, from high politics to popular culture, through print, literature, maps and museums. Following the rise and conflict of nations and the decline of empires, Anderson draws on examples from South East Asia, Latin America and Europe’s recent past to show how nationalism shaped the modern world.

Understanding Federalism and Federation

Editors: Alain G. Gagnon, Soeren Keil, Sean Mueller, 2017

Based on a variety of contemporary debates on federal theory Understanding Federalism and Federation honours Michael Burgess’ contribution to the study of these topics through a selection of approaches, theories, debates and interpretations. Gathering contributors from diverse subfields to synthesise current debates it offers a snapshot of the immense range of current research on federalism and federation. Leading authors debate key issues such as American federalism, Canada and the role of Quebec, the latest insights into comparative federalism and federation, the European Union as a federal project and the analysis of constitutional courts in federal systems. Different theoretical and empirical fields and perspectives are brought together, synthesising major findings and addressing emerging issues and these topics are analysed through multiple lenses to provide new insights, original approaches and much-needed theoretical and empirical data on federalism and federation.

Authority Under Construction: The European Union in a Comparative Political Perspective

Kathleen McNamara, 2018

Moravcsik’s liberal intergovernmentalism irrevocably upgraded the rigour of European Union scholarship by categorising the EU as an international organisation, and analysing it in terms of general theories of international relations. The deepening of European governance has meant, however, that the EU today is better understood as a polity in formation, generalizable through the lens of comparative politics instead of international relations. Alongside the burgeoning literature on the EU’s politicisation, I advocate for comparisons to historical episodes of state-building and nationalism, with particular attention to the role of culture and identity in shoring up, or contesting, political authority. Doing so allows us to better delineate the challenges presented by European citizens’ lack of impassioned attachment to the EU, while also informing a broader understanding of the populist backlashes occurring in the context of more global trends of transnational authority construction.

For Europe

Guy Verhofstadt, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, 2012

Europe is in crisis. How did we get here? What didn’t work? Faced with such an emergency, are the euro zone states not creating an undemocratic monster? Is euroscepticism not reactionary? Could a federation of 27 actually work? This book is a call. A wake up call directed to every citizen. It is an exercise in lucidity that encourages reflection. And it is also an alarm bell. The tone is frank, passionate. The arguments hard hitting : “Europe must once and for all get rid of the navel gazing of its nation-states. A radical revolution is needed. A large European revolution. And a European federal Union must emerge. A Union that enables Europe to participate in the postnational world of tomorrow. By laziness, cowardice and lack of vision, too many of our Heads of State and Government prefer not to see what is at stake. Let’s wake them up. Let’s confront them with their impotence. And give them no respite until they have taken the European way, the way to a Europe of the future, towards a Europe for Europeans. The era of empty summits and statements is over. Now is the time for action.”

As a political idea, federalism–the concept that democratic government should be divided between different tiers–has been subjected to a negative and even hostile treatment by sections of both the establishment and the media in Britain. For some years a popular misconception has been promoted that federalism and federal thinking are alien to British tradition. Yet history reveals a very different picture.

The federal constitution of the USA was created by British citizens influenced above all by British political ideas. From Australia and Canada to India and Germany, the legacies of British origin or influence have been federal constitutions.

In this new book, leading federalist proponents explore the theoretical and practical areas in which Federalism has made a significant contribution towards the construction of the European Union. It also shows how the European Union may now offer Britain an effective route for achieving a number of its most important policy goals both at home and abroad.

A history of UEF’s oldest section

As a political idea, federalism–the concept that democratic government should be divided between different tiers–has been subjected to a negative and even hostile treatment by sections of both the establishment and the media in Britain. For some years a popular misconception has been promoted that federalism and federal thinking are alien to British tradition. Yet history reveals a very different picture.

The federal constitution of the USA was created by British citizens influenced above all by British political ideas. From Australia and Canada to India and Germany, the legacies of British origin or influence have been federal constitutions.

In this new book, leading federalist proponents explore the theoretical and practical areas in which Federalism has made a significant contribution towards the construction of the European Union. It also shows how the European Union may now offer Britain an effective route for achieving a number of its most important policy goals both at home and abroad.

Would federalism work in the UK? Wouldn’t England dominate a British federation? How would powers be distributed between federal and home nation level? What about the House of Lords?

This new, post-referendum edition of Britain Rebooted is more relevant than ever, given the promises of further devolved powers for the nations and regions of the UK. David Torrance shares his thoughts on the Smith Commission, the ‘Vow’, the ‘Vow Plus’ and ‘EVEL’ (English Votes for English Laws).

This book offers a new approach to the study of European democracy showing how this has developed through key episodes in the history of the process: precursors in the Low Countries; the founding of British parliamentary then American federal democracy; post-revolutionary France; post-war Germany; the European Parliament. It examines the significance of each episode in the development of national or federal democracy and concludes with a positive assessment of the prospects of liberal democracy.

A Facebook page with updates of academic papers on federalism.

Europa - the Founding Mothers of Europe

Maria Pia Di Nonno, 2017

Moravcsik attacks the view, shared by Euro‐enthusiasts and Euro‐sceptics alike, that current developments in the EU herald the advent of a European federal state; according to Moravcsik, the EU lacks and is likely to continue to lack the fundamental competences that would make it federal. To make this point, Moravcsik emphasizes what the EU does not do and is unlikely to take on in the foreseeable future, spelling out how the ‘EU plays almost no role—at most a weak sort of international coordination—in most of the issue‐areas about which European voters care most, such as taxation, social welfare provision, defence, high foreign policy, policing, education, cultural policy, human rights, and small business policy’. Moravcsik finds this not surprising, since the EU’s built‐in ‘constitutional constraints’, from fiscal to legislative and regulatory powers, create a strong bias towards the status quo. His normative conclusion that the ‘existing hybrid status quo is sufficiently efficient and adequately legitimate to resist any fundamental institutional reform’ seems to echo Weiler’s conclusion in Ch. 2 that the EU ‘ain’t broke, so don’t fix it’, although the two authors get to this position from opposite premises: Weiler thinks that today’s EU founded on constitutional tolerance—bowing to the majority without being one people—is an amazingly ambitious project, while Moravcsik celebrates the EU’s character as ‘a second‐best constitutional compromise designed to cope pragmatically with concrete problems’. The three sections of the chapter: (1) describe the existing confederal structure of EU institutions, focussing on the substantive narrowness and institutional weakness of its mandate; (2) examine the causes of this narrow and weak institutional mandate in the European constitutional settlement; and (3) assess the normative consequences for the democratic legitimacy of the EU state structure.

This constitutional and institutional development of the European Community, and federalism in particular, are widely and intensely debated, and the issue of federalism has proved to be divisive and misunderstood. This book provides a critical reappraisal of the political, economic, and socio-cultural potential of current federal political-institutional arrangements. It includes both an analysis of their necessary preconditions as well as evaluation of their advantages and disadvantages compared with other forms of state organisation. The book concludes with an overall assessment of the federalizing processes at work in Europe, both at the Community and nation state level, and points out the problems, paradoxes and likely outcomes of these processes.

This book provides a major empirical analysis of differing attitudes to European integration in three of Europe’s most important countries: Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. From its beginnings, the European Union has resounded with debate over whether to move toward a federal or intergovernmental system. However, Juan Díez Medrano argues that empirical analyses of support for integration–by specialists in international relations, comparative politics, and survey research–have failed to explain why some countries lean toward federalism whereas others lean toward intergovernmentalism.

This book is about the complex and changing relationship between levels of governance in the US and the European Union. On the basis of a transatlantic dialogue between scholars concerned about modes of governance on both sides, it is a collective attempt at analysing the ramifications of the legitimacy crisis in these multi‐layered democracies, and possible remedies to this. Starting from a focus on the current policy debates over ‘devolution’ and ‘subsidiarity’, the book engages the reader into the broader tension of comparative federalism. Its authors believe that in spite of the fundamental differences between them, both the EU and the USA are in the process of re‐defining a federal vision for the twenty‐first century. The book is a contribution to the study of federalism and European integration, and seeks to bridge the divide between the two. It also bridges the traditional divide between technical, legal or regulatory discussions of federal governance and philosophical debates over questions of belonging and multiple identities. It is a multi‐disciplinary project, bringing together historians, political scientists and theorists, legal scholars, sociologists and political economists (more than 20 authors are involved), and includes both innovative analysis and prescriptions on how to reshape the federal contract in the USA and the EU. Included are introductions to the history of federalism in the USA and the EU, the current debates over devolution and subsidiarity, the legal framework of federalism and theories of regulatory federalism, as well as innovative approaches to the application of network analysis, principal‐agent models, institutionalist analysis, and political theories of citizenship to the federal context. The introduction and conclusion by the editors draws out cross‐cutting themes and lessons from the thinking together of the EU and USA experiences, and suggest how a ‘federal vision’ could be freed from the hierarchical paradigm of the ‘federal state’ and articulated around concepts of mutual tolerance and empowerment. The seventeen chapters are arranged in five sections: I. Articulating the Federal Vision (two chapters)—views of federalism in its USA and EU versions; II. Levels of Governance in the USA and the European Union: Facts and Diagnosis (four chapters)—an overview of the history and current state of federalism in the USA and EU; III. Legal and Regulatory Instruments of Federal Governance (three chapters); IV. Federalism, Legitimacy, and Governance: Models for Understanding (four chapters); V. Federalism, Legitimacy, and Identity (four chapters)—a discussion of the deeper roots of legitimacy in federal systems; there is also an appendix, which discusses the basic principles for the allocation of competence in the USA and EU.

A Federation For Western Europe

W. Ivor Jennings, 1940

The federal future of Europe: From the European Community to the European Union

Dusan Sidjanski, Jose Maria Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado, Enrique Martinez Guttierez, Jacques Delors, 2000

First published in 1992, this book sets out a federalist interpretation of the European integration process. The author maintains that in a global and interdependent world, federalism is the social organisation model which is best suited to bringing states closer together, whilst safeguarding their identities and differences. Dusan Sidjanski develops historical arguments to support his claims, taking the reader back to the birth of the European project and the first steps towards a federal European Union. He then examines the key stages and main characteristics of European integration, focusing on institutions, decision-making and policies. His survey ends with the signing of the Treaty on European Union in Maastricht in 1991. According to Dusan Sidjanski, this treaty confirms and develops the European Community’s federal ambitions, although it represents only the first rough sketch of a new Europe which must develop as a matter of urgency into an effective political union.

Making History: European Integration and Institutional Change at Fifty

Editors: Sophie Meunier, Kathleen R. McNamara, 2007

Fifty years ago, the leaders of six European states signed the Treaty of Rome, creating the European Economic Community and launching the process of European integration. From that starting point evolved today’s European Union (EU), the most successful example of institutionalised political cooperation in history. The EU now encompasses a much broader array of responsibilities than originally planned, its membership has widened to 25 countries, and its legislation and jurisprudence has come to supersede national law. Contestation has accompanied success, however, and the intense debate in many European countries over the EU Constitution throughout the course of 2005 revealed deep divisions between and within European countries around issues such as EU institutions, the elusive European identity, a European economic malaise, and the role of the EU as a world power. Was the constitutional crisis a turning point for European integration? This volume argues that the EU today may be at a crossroads—not because of the failed referenda but rather because of the unresolved tensions in European governance not banished with the referenda’s defeat. Meunier and McNamara’s collection is the first to comprehensively examine these challenging issues using the tools of historical institutionalism to analyse the past and future political and institutional trajectory of the European Union across a wide variety of policy areas. Together, the volume’s authors provide a remarkably coherent theoretical approach to the key questions facing Europe, drawing a portrait of the EU today that reveals a robust, but not invulnerable, set of institutions and practices.

The European Union – a supranational system with its own institutional characteristics and autonomy – has a structure and functional logic which are more similar to those of the US than those of European nation states. Yet, by and large, the EU and the US tend to be analyzed more as potential geopolitical and economic rivals or allies than compared as institutional peers. By bringing together some of the most influential political scientists and historians to compare the European and American experiences of federalism, Democracy and Federalism in the European Union and the United States explores the future development, and seeks a better understanding, of a post-national European Union democracy.

What Kind of Constitution for What Kind of Polity? Responses to Joschka Fischer

Editors: Christian Joerges, Yves Mény, J.H.H. Weiler, 2000

This book examines patterns of environmental regulation in the European Union and four federal polities—the United States, Germany, Australia, and Canada. Daniel Kelemen develops a theory of regulatory federalism based on his comparative study, arguing that the greater the fragmentation of power at the federal level, the less discretion is allotted to component states. Kelemen’s analysis offers a novel perspective on the EU and demonstrates that the EU already acts as a federal polity in the regulatory arena. In The Rules of Federalism, Kelemen shows that both the structure of the EU’s institutions and the control these institutions exert over member states closely resemble the American federal system, with its separation of powers, large number of veto points, and highly detailed, judicially enforceable legislation. In the EU, as in the United States, a high degree of fragmentation in the central government yields a low degree of discretion for member states when it comes to implementing regulatory statutes.

A revisionist interpretation of the post-war evolution of European integration and the European Union (EU), this book reappraises and reassesses conventional explanations of European integration. It adopts a federalist approach which supplements state-based arguments with federal political ideas, influences and strategies. By exploring the philosophical and historical origins of federal ideas and tracing their influence throughout the whole of the EU’s evolution, the book makes a significant contribution to the scholarly debate about the nature and development of the EU. The book looks at federal ideas stretching back to the sixteenth century and demonstrates their fundamental continuity to contemporary European integration. It situates these ideas in the broad context of post-war western Europe and underlines their practical relevance in the activities of Jean Monnet and Altiero Spinelli. Post-war empirical developments are explored from a federalist perspective, revealing an enduring persistence of federal ideas which have been either ignored or overlooked in conventional interpretations. The book challenges traditional conceptions of the post-war and contemporary evolution of the EU, to reassert and reinstate federalism in theory and practice at the very core of European integration.

In the third decade of the 21st century, Europe is facing several serious challenges to its prosperity and freedom. Those include economic, financial and productive decline compared to the rest of the world, demographic stagnation, the effects of climate change, energy dependence from other continents and exclusion from technological innovations. This book proposes the creation of a federal European state that would replace and succeed the EU, its member states and other willing European countries. This is the only way for Europe to successfully address all those challenges and stay at centre stage in world affairs, in the century of globalisation, climate change and the fourth industrial revolution. But addressing Europe’s existential challenges is not the only reason to move in that direction. A federal Europe would also become a major, self-sufficient geopolitical power, as strong as or stronger than the USA, Russia or China. It would be a model for other regional federations around the planet. The book is not restricted to the analysis of why we need a federal European state but further suggests substantial policies for many different sectors: economy, banking, foreign affairs, defence, education, health, social security, immigration, human rights, agriculture, fourth industrial revolution, circular economy and climate – to name some of them. At the end, it presents a rough budget estimation to show that such a federation would not only be desirable but also be feasible.