Abstract

If Europe indeed represents a distinctive, and better, civilization than the US, this should be reflected in how the EU has reshaped Eastern Europe after the breakdown of socialism. After all, this was the first historical opportunity for the EU to live up to its own ambitions in world politics. However, instead of exporting welfare capitalism and a security order based on multilateralism and human rights, EU expansion has entailed the re-emergence of economic center-periphery relations within the new Europe. Moreover, Western European states bear a heavy dose of responsibility for the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. The left-liberal vision of Europe as the better world power is based on an unwillingness to critically engage with the EU's conduct of its external relations, and wishful thinking concerning Europe's autonomy vis-a-vis the US.