Every-so-often, discussions emerge regarding the need of establishing a European army. This is an idea as old as post-WWII European integration and the European Defence Community proposed in 1952 that died with the 1954 veto of the European Political Community. Beyond the Common Security and Defence Policy and the Common Foreign and Defence Policy, military integration is a popular notion in France as well as among its traditional European allies, including Spain, Italy and Greece, who are unfortunately afflicted by austerity. The Baltic states and eastern Europe are traditionally much more vocal in support of a European army as a means of final protection against the projection of Russian foreign policy and the historical threat of Invasion. I am under the impression that Germany, however, has been much more reticent, if I am not mistaken, always taking a back stance vis-a-vis the discussion, fearful of the memory of its militaristic history. The UK on the other hand has been one of the leading obstacles to the formation of a EU army.
For my part I have spoken about why I am in favour of this before:
- It is the only way to have a defence force that can actually defend the EU,
- It takes advantage economies of scale
- It takes advantage of military returns to scale
- It would create a single military purchasor, a monopsonist akin to the US DoD that would be able to channel the necessary funds towards the type of cutting edge R&D that has given us GPS, drones, exoskeletons, computers, missiles, the internet, etc.
Of course, I am not naive. Any step to this effect would create an enormous potential for evil and destruction. While politically it may be an advantage, I tend to be suspicious of any policy that may appeal to rightwing extremists even if only as a means to redirecting their attention. Militarism has a very bad history in Europe and we should be very wary of it.
Nevertheless, this week may be the beginning of a new phase, with what appears to be a coordinated PR move from Brussels and Germany towards further European Integration. This post quickly reviews all the events and some related reports, asks 2 questions:
- Is this renewed interest in European military integration meaningful or a front?
- What triggered this announcement? – A Russian invasion of the Ukraine or the interference of US neo-cons?
It then reviews the latest proposal for EU defence integration and upcoming events and concludes that this is indeed likely to bring about some progress in this policy front.
The evolution of the Roman republic and later of the Roman empire is interesting because of the interplay between social, military and poltical dimensions as the drivers of change. To that extent, this post is probably best understood in the context of the other two on the rise and fall of the Roman republic and on the fall of the Roman empire. To that effect, it recaps the political and economic insights described in those two posts and adds some further facts I stumble across while reading about Roman antiquity.
The post is divided in 5 sections that discuss the main issues I was interested in:
- The military structure of Rome
- The Civil Administration
- Political Stability
- Economic structure
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Aedile, Ancient inequality, Angus Madison, army of the roman empire, Augustus, Centralisation, Civil Administration of the Roman Empire, Colonni et servus, Colonnus adscrepti, Comitatenses, Competition, Constantine, Consul, Diocese, Diocletian, Duration of Roman Emperor reign, Economy of the Roman Empire, Gaius Marius, Hadrian, Hopkins, Jean Jacques Rosa, John Matthews, Legatus, Limitanei, Manorialism, Maps, Military of the Roman Empire, Notitia Dignitatum, Octavian, Peter Heather, Praetor, Praetorian Prefecture, Procurator, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Quaestor, Quantity Theory of Money, Rationalis, Roman Empire, Roman Empire Civil Servants, Roman Republic, size of the roman Empire, surface of the Roman Empire, Taxation, Technological development, Vicarius
While writing the recent posts on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire I made use of a vast array of sources that I believe I should list below for my own sake and for that of others potentially interested in following a similar line of inquiry. The sources are divided in 2 categories: Primary sources and Secondary Sources (articles and books). I have added some general comments on my opinion of each source and some of the uses I made of them.
Secondary Sources – Articles
- Arnheim M.T.W. (1972), Senatorial Aristocracy in the Later Roman Empire,
- Baynes, NH (1943), The Decline of the Roman Power in Western Europe. Some Modern Explanations, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 33, Parts 1 and 2 , pp. 29-35
- Bourne RJ(2000), Aspects of the relationship between the Central and Gallic Empires in the mid to late third century AD with special reference to coinage studies,
- Hirt, AM (2010), Imperial Mines and Quarries in the Roman World. Organizational Aspects 27 BC-AD 235 (Oxford Classical Monographs). Oxford University Press. xiv, 551 pp. Pr. £80.00 (hb). ISBN 9780199572878
- Hopkins, K (1980), Taxes and Trade in the Roman Empire (200 B.C.–A.D. 400), Journal of Roman Studies / Volume 70 / November 1980, pp 101-125
- Pringsheim F. (1934), The Legal Policy and REforms of Hadrian, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 24, pp. 141-153
- Rogowski, R (2011), Slavery: a dual-equilibrium model with some historical examples, Public Choice,
- Scheidel, W (1997), Quantifying the Sources of Slaves in the Early Roman Empire , Journal of Roman Studies, Volume 87, November 1997, pp 156-169
- Stuard, SS (1995), Ancillary Evidence for the Decline of Medieval Slavery, Past & Present No. 149 (Nov., 1995), pp. 3-28
- Whittaker CR (1987 ), Circe’s pigs: From Slavery to serfdom in the later Roman world, Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies Volume 8, Issue 1, Special Issue: Classical Slavery pp. 88-122
Secondary Sources -Books
- Andreau, J (1974), Les Affaires the Monsieur Jucundus
- Dignas, B and Winter, E (2007), Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals,
- Duncan-Jones, R. (2002), Structure and Scale in the Roman Economy,
- Elton, H (1997), Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 350-425,
- Goldsworthy, A (2011), The Complete Roman Army,
- Heather, Peter (2006), The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History,
- Jones A. H. M. and Martindale J. R. (1971), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume 1, AD 260-395: A.D.260-395 Vol 1,
- Jones, AHM (1974), The Roman economy;: Studies in ancient economic and administrative history,
- Jones, AHM (1986), The Later Roman Empire, 284-602: A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey,
- Kelly C. (2006), Ruling the Later Roman Empire,
- Kulikowski (2007), Rome’s Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric
- Madison, Angus (2007): Contours of the World Economy: 1-2030AD
- Matthews, John (1990) , Western Aristocracies and the Imperial Court Ad 364-425,
- Martindale J. R. (1980), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume 2, AD 395-527: A.D.395-527 Vol 2,
- Rosa, JJ (2011), The Causes of Serfdom: Domar’s Puzzle Revisited (unpublished)
- Sarris, P (2004), The Origins of the Manorial Economy: New Insights from Late Antiquity, Historical Review (2004)119 (481): 279-311.
- Undreiner, G (1956). Church And Culture In The Middle Ages 350-814. Kessinger Publishing.
- Talbert, RJA (2000), Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World,
- Temin, P (2012), The Roman Market Economy,
On this day 70 years ago, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in present-day Poland. The scale of death and human destruction they found there was not lost to these men, even though they had been fighting on the most violent front of the most violent war in the history of mankind for 3 years.
Today we remember and hope it may never happens again.
Some sources of testimonials from survivors and related articles:
I also personally recommend the following:
… and yet we know if continued to happen elsewhere, such as Rwanda and Cambodia.
I don’t have an enormous amount of time to consider the implications of the Greek election yesterday in a tremendous amount of detail. So the following are my thoughts, disorganised and potentially incoherent.
Posted in Current Events, Euro-zone Update, Sovereign debt Crisis
Tagged Debt Sustainability Analysis, DSA, ECB, ESM, Greece, Greek election 2015, Syriza, Tsirpas, Zero coupon Perpetuities
All the cartoons they don’t like. Because freedom of expression, that’s why!
If you think they had it coming you are one of those people who thinks women (or any other minority for that sake) deserve to be raped (or suffer any other form of abuse) because of the way they dress, what they say or of the way they act, which, let’s be honest, is just plain ignorant!
Now let’s wait for the right-wing extremists to capitalise on this for their xenophobic agenda…
I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I won’t be posting any more this year, as I have some work I need to finish before going on holidays. During the new year, I hope to be able to continue to post at least once a week, hopefully on Fridays, but later otherwise.
I have plenty of posts I’ve started writing that need finishing as well as plenty of ideas for new posts I hope you will find as interesting as I do.
Europe and its integration remain in flux in the depressing economic and political aftermath of the financial crisis. Extremist right-wing parties seem to go from strength to strength casting a shadow not dissimilar to that cast in the 1930s when the liberal central parties seem to have lost the confidence of the electorates across Europe. Things are not quite as bad as then, but the Europe we live in now seems rather different from the one we lived in 10 years ago and our “new normal” is clearly more depressing than our past.
Nevertheless, much remains to be done. Will the deflation and economic inequalities that plague our continent, the fiscal competition of the single market, the continued exposure to asymmetric shocks and Russian triggers of a military threat push us towards more European integration in 2015? Or a British exit from the EU, civil war in Spain, more instability or even a default in Greece, failure in France and reform delay at continental level create continue to accumulate until discontent reaches a critical mass that it will be impossible to not breakup with the past?
I don’t know either. So hang around and let’s find out!
See you next year!