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  • Cited by 7
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2019
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Book description

The EU is many things: a civilization ideal to emulate, an anchor of geopolitical stabilization, a generous donor and a historical lesson on cooperation across nations. A fixer of national governance problems, however, it is not. In this book, Mungiu-Pippidi investigates the efficacy of the European Union's promotion of good governance through its funding and conditionalities both within EU proper and in the developing world. The evidence assembled shows that the idea of European power to transform the quality of governance is largely a myth. From Greece to Egypt and from Kosovo to Turkey, EU interventions in favour of good governance and anti-corruption policy have failed so far to trigger the domestic political dynamic needed to ensure sustainable change. Mungiu-Pippidi explores how we can better bridge the gap between the Europe of treaties and the reality of governance in Europe and beyond. This book will interest students and scholars of comparative politics, European politics, and development studies, particularly those examining governance and corruption.


'Europe’s Burden is highly topical, analytical and entertaining. The book represents social sciences at their best, offering impressive empirical insights and enlightening theoretical reflections. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi shows the importance of anti-corruption policies and the EU’s poor record in designing and implementing them. Her policy recommendations are detailed and sound. This book should be read by the new European Commission and all students of public policy and international relations.'

Jan Zielonka - University of Oxford

'There are revolutions 'from above', revolutions 'from below' and also the mysterious revolutions 'from abroad' where foreign assistance is a major revolutionary force. How successful the European Union is (and could be) in its attempts to improve the governance of foreign countries is the fundamental question this very important and thoroughly researched book has dared to answer.'

Ivan Krastev - Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia and Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM), Vienna

'A blistering and contrarian critique of EU anti-corruption efforts from one of the field’s leading authorities. Based on extensive quantitative data spanning both EU member states and a large number of the union’s external partners, the book’s findings have troubling implications for the future of EU good governance strategies - and deserve to be considered with the utmost seriousness.'

Richard Youngs - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Europe

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