SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar presents the left’s case against the EU in new book

22 November 2018

Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at SOAS University of London and former Syriza MP in Greece, presents a challenging read for those interested in the future of Europe with his new book on the left’s opposition to the EU.

In The Left Case Against the EU, Professor Lapavitsas argues that the EU's response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel that institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation, and wage cuts.

He explores how the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable core and dependent peripheries and how these related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform.

Professor Lapavitsas argues in favour of a direct challenge to the EU project stresses popular and national sovereignty. This is a precondition for an internationalist and socialist programme by the left across Europe.

The launch will include a panel discussion with the Guardian’s Economic Editor, Larry Elliott; Grace Blakeley at the Progressive Policy Think Tank and Dr Christopher Bickerton of the University of Cambridge. The discussion will be chaired by Aaron Bastani of Novara Media.

Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, said: "For those wanting a clear and concise summary of the left case against the euro and of the misrepresentation of German European hegemony as the consummation of the ‘European idea’, there is no way around this book. Nowhere has the political economy of the common currency and of German ascendancy in Europe been more clearly exposed. There is now no excuse anymore for denying or ignoring the disastrous consequences of German predominance, as established through the euro, for the unity of Europe and for the great majority of its citizens."

Professor Richard Tuck, Harvard University, said: "Costas Lapavitsas is the most important commentator on the EU and its current crises, including Brexit. This is one of the most significant books on modern politics to appear in the last decade, and virtually the only one fully to grasp the nature of our present situation."

The launch will take place at SOAS on 4 December at 6pm in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre.