Does European integration influence national cultures and social policies? Is Europe's fabled cultural diversity diminishing? In this book, Paulette Kurzer examines these important and topical questions by comparing the Irish abortion ban, Finnish and Swedish drinking restrictions, and Dutch drug decriminalization. Employing a synthesis of constructivist and institutionalist theories, Kurzer demonstrates that domestic shifts in values and attitudes, spurred along by the impact of EC/EU market integration, are in fact bringing about a convergence in European morality norms. Alcohol control policies are forced to liberalize, the Irish abortion proscription is being redefined, and Dutch drug toleration is pushed into a more punitive direction. Markets and Moral Regulation argues that a crucial agency is European law and its role as a market regulator: as market forces invade these cultural and moral spheres, protective barriers disintegrate. The result is that cultural and social domains are increasingly exposed to the influence of market competition.
• Based on meticulous, fine-grained scholarship • Of interest to a wide readership - conventional EU studies, comparative politics, political culture, sociology, anthropology - also those interested in issues of alcohol, drugs and abortion • New and important study, unlike anything previously published in EU studies literature
1. Markets versus morality; 2. Binge drinking: the evolution of Finnish alcohol policy; 3. Our greatest problem: the evolution of Swedish alcohol policy; 4. Nordic morality meets the European union; 5. Permissive pragmaticism: Dutch drug policy; 6. Harm reduction meets the EU: from public health to public order; 7. Irish sexual morality versus European sexual permissiveness; 8. The emergence of a European morality?
'It is a fascinating and well constructed work in a rather under-researched are in political science...and richly informed by the conceptual and analytical tools of comparative politics.' West European Politics