The Supranational Politics of Jean Monnet

Ideas and Origins of the European Community

by Frederic J. Fransen


Examines the development of Jean Monnet's political thought from World War I to the 1960s through his work with a series of international political problems and institutions.

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April 2001


Pages 184
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics World History/Politics and Government
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Although previous advocates of European Unity proposed the replacement of the balance of power model of international relations, Jean Monnet was the first to try to do so along Franco-German rather than Franco-British lines. He concluded that restrictions on national sovereignty were essential and that there were steps that could be taken prior to full federation. Through his Community method, Monnet hoped to create a French-led, continental federation within a Western association. His United States of Europe was aimed not only back at the Franco-German conflict, but also forward to the problem of Europe's place in the world.

This study explores Jean Monnet's European project and the intentions behind it from World War I to the 1960s. Fransen relies on a close and comparative reading of Monnet's notes and documents, placed in their political and historical context. Most work on Monnet's contribution begins with his later presence as an elder statesman of the European movement and reads his later pronouncements back into his earlier work. This book takes the opposite approach and, by concentrating on his earlier work, is able to show a more complicated picture of Monnet's aspirations than has been presented to date.

Table of Contents

IntroductionEurope's First CitizenFrance's Wartime SovereigntyInternational MobilizationMonnet's Europe, 1943-1954The EclipseConclusionBibliographyIndex



Fransen's thorough study will be key reading for those concerned with the history and development of integration, and should be available in all libraries. It will repay a wider readership too, not least as a striking case study of the practice of the art of the possible by a master of the art of 'wheeling and dealing' whose view of what was possible was larger, wider, and more soundly and intelligently based than those of almost all his contemporaries.—Regional & Federal Studies

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