The Europe Illusion? Britain, France, Germany and the Long History of European Integration

Hosted by the Department of International History

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, United Kingdom


Dr Stuart Sweeney

Dr Stuart Sweeney

Dr Tim Hochstrasser

Dr Tim Hochstrasser


Professor David Stevenson

Professor David Stevenson

In a talk with Tim Hochstrasser, Stuart Sweeney explored the findings in his book, The Europe Illusion, which considers Britain’s relationships with France and Prussia-Germany since the map of Europe was redrawn at Westphalia in 1648.

A timely and far-sighted study, the book argues that integration in Europe has evolved through diplomatic, economic and cultural links cemented between these three states. Indeed, as wars became more destructive and economic expectations were elevated these states struggled to survive alone. Yet it has been rare for all three states to be friends at the same time. Instead, apparent setbacks like Brexit can be seen as reflective of a more pragmatic Europe, where integration proceeds within variable geometry. Read more about the book.

Dr Stuart Sweeney is a visiting academic at the Centre for European History, University of Oxford, and has taught at Oxford University and the Open University. He has a DPhil in Modern History and an undergraduate degree in PPE, both from University of Oxford. He has taught at Oxford and Open Universities. His first book was Financing India’s Imperial Railways (2011) and he has published articles in journals including Economic History Review. Stuart spent 23 years in finance in London and New York working on a wide range of fixed income transactions, latterly as Managing Director at UBS. He now works in the social investment space as a Senior Investment Manager at CAF Venturesome, and has board positions within social investment. His academic, financial and social background brings him a varied perspective on the history, politics and economics of Europe.

Dr Tim Hochstrasser is Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE.

Professor David Stevenson is Stevenson Professor in the Department of International History at LSE.

Sponsored by the department's Conflict and Identity in Europe since the 18th Century and the Pre-Modern East and West research clusters. by the department's Conflict and Identity in Europe since the 18th Century research cluster.

The Department of International History (@lsehistory) teaches and conducts research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day.

**Listen to the podcast**


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Photo credit: book cover (Reaktion Books, 2019)