Brexit and the Return to Realism in Foreign Policy
27/10/2016 12:27 a.m.
Past EventsR. S. V. P
A lecture by Professor David Martin Jones at the Corvinus University.
Brexit and the Return to Realism in Foreign Policy
Has Europe gone mad in pursuit of an illusion?
In reading the history of nations, we find that like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.
In explaining the causes of the drive to ever closer European Union, David Martin Jones quotes the 19th century Scottish poet and author Charles Makay, whose words appear above.
In his lecture Professor Jones said: „We might update Mackay’s memoior by noting that at a later age in the annals of Europe its population lost their wits, fiscal credibility and economic sense over the delusion of an ever-closer European Union. The regulatory behemoth of the European Union, with its five presidents, 28 commissioners, seried ranks of bureaucrats and courts of counsellors, legal represeentatives and other functionaries has inhibited growth and consigned a generation of youth in Southern Europe to unemployment (56 per cent in Spain, 62.5 per cent in Greece). It has committed poorer member states to debt, austerity, and destitution in its futile pursuit of a currency union leading to a federated European imperium.”
Professor Jones believes that, freed from the endless commitocray of the European Union, the UK’s best interests require that it looks more closely at the practices of successful market states that once formed part of its empire – states such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia and New Zealand. And that they are also lessons for other EU members.
„Unlike Britain, these states did not abandon sovereignty and a version of the Westminster parliamentary system for a utopian delusion. Instead, they focused on adpating institutions and practices to the challenges and opportunities offered by later twentieth century globalisation.”
Professor Jones’s lecture was organised jointly by the Danube Institute and the Institute of International Studies at Corvinus University.
David Martin Jones is Honorary Reader in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, and Visiting Professor and Teaching Fellow in War Studies at King’s College, University of London. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics, and has taught at the Open University, National University of Singapore, and the University of Tasmania.
His works include with Daniel A Bell, David Brown and Kanishka Jayasuriya Towards Illiberal Democracy in Pacific Asia ( 1995), Political Development in Pacific Asia (1997) Conscience and Allegiance in Seventeenth Century English Political Thought ( 1999), The Image of China in Western Social and Political Thought ( 2001) and ASEAN and East Asian International Order ( 2007) with N.Khoo and M.L.R. Smith The Rise of China and Asia Pacific Security (Edward Elgar 2013) and with M.L.R. Smith Sacred Violence Political Religion in a Secular Age (Macmillan,2014) and The Political Impossibility of Modern Counter-Insurgency (Columbia 2015).
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