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In this book, Slavoj Žižek and Srecko Horvat emphasize the dangers of ignoring Europe's growing wealth gap and the parallel rise in right-wing nationalism, which is directly tied to the fallout from the ongoing financial crisis and its prescription of imposed austerity. The best hope, they argue, is for Europe to revive its legacy of universal egalitarianism, preserving the promise of equal representation.

Žižek, Slavoj / Horvat, Srećko

What Does Europe Want?

The Union and Its Discontents

Series:Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture


    32,95 € / $37.49 / £24.50*

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    Publication Date:
    December 2014
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    Aims and Scope

    Slavoj Žižek and Srecko Horvat combine their critical clout to emphasize the dangers of ignoring Europe's growing wealth gap and the parallel rise in right-wing nationalism, which is directly tied to the fallout from the ongoing financial crisis and its prescription of imposed austerity. To general observers, the European Union's economic woes appear to be its greatest problem, but the real peril is an ongoing ideological–political crisis that threatens an era of instability and reactionary brutality.

    The fall of communism in 1989 seemed to end the leftist program of universal emancipation. However, nearly a quarter of a century later, the European Union has failed to produce any coherent vision that can mobilize people to action. Until recently, the only ideology receptive to European workers has been the nationalist call to "defend" against immigrant integration. Today, Europe is focused on regulating the development of capitalism and promoting a reactionary conception of its cultural heritage. Yet staying these courses, Žižek and Horvat show, only strips Europe of its power and stifles its political ingenuity. The best hope is for Europe to revive and defend its legacy of universal egalitarianism, which benefits all parties by preserving the promise of equal representation.


    240 pages
    Professional and scholarly;

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    Slavoj Žižek is a professor at the Institute for Sociology, University of Ljubljana, and at the European Graduate School. Among his most recent books are Demanding the Impossible, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously, and The Sublime Object of Ideology. He is a coeditor of Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics, and Dialectic and a contributor to Democracy in What State?, What Does a Jew Want? On Binationalism and Other Specters, and Reimagining the Sacred: Debating God with Richard Kearney.

    Srecko Horvat is a Croatian philosopher and the author of nine books. He is also a highly respected political theorist and activist, and a columnist for The Guardian. His latest book is After the End of History: From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement.


    Full of relevance and merit...Žižek and Horvat provide a deeply engaging and insightful polemic on how Europe went wrong – and how it can recover.

    Alexis Tsipras, Greek politican, president of SYRIZA:
    How can we break, once and for all, the foundation of social apathy on which the construction of Europe since 1989 is built on? The active participation of the masses in politics is the only thing that can truly frighten the ruling elite in Europe and worldwide. And that's exactly why we should make it happen.

    Yanis Varoufakis, author of The Global Minotaur: A Theory of the Global Crisis and Game Theory:
    The pages of this book resonate with the authors' powerful demolition of the EU's Orwellian propaganda. Readers who care about Europe have a duty to share in Slavoj Žižek and Srecko Horvat's energy, irrespectively of whether they agree with them or not.

    Oliver Stone, American film director, screenwriter, producer:
    A Slovenian madman and a charismatic Croatian philosopher, joined by Greece's most dangerous politician, offer an analysis of the European deadlock in a way that is bitingly charming and bitterly intelligent. Any real European, faithful to the real idea of Europe, must read this.

    Kelsey Wood, author of Žižek: A Reader's Guide:
    An outstanding book—radical in the best sense of the word. What Does Europe Want? gets to the root of the matter and gives political theory material force. Horvat is a rising star in philosophy, while Žižek is a theoretical tsunami. By reading the signs from the future, this book cuts through propaganda and ideological mystification to expose the increasing danger threatening the EU.

    Peter Thompson, Sheffield:
    What Does Europe Want? deals with the crisis in a highly polemical and exciting way. One feels that one is involved in the discussions as they are taking place. This means that the text is highly readable but at the same time provides us with some important political, economic, and psychological background to many of the aspects of the crisis which tend to go unexamined or unreported.

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