Books 

 

Europe : a heritage, a challenge, a promise 

Berting, Jan  

Delft : Eburon

2006

© Jan Berting 
Biography 

Dr Jan Berting (Dutch, born 1930) is professor emeritus (Sociology and Social Policy) at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He is the author of many books and articles on sociological subjects including social inequality, international comparative research, new technology and society, and collective representations.

Summary 

According to Berting, Europe is characterised by a variety of national and regional cultures on the one hand and a common cultural heritage on the other. This specific mix of the national and international heritage constitutes the foundation for the creation of the European Union.

Europe is also an important advocate of the ideology of modernisation. According to the author, this urge to modernise could represent a major threat for Europe's common heritage and future. Major challenges will have to be tackled in order to strike the right balance between preserving Europe's own specificity and its pursuit of modernisation.

The book is a useful source of material aimed at attaining a better understanding of these challenges. It touches on a variety of topics such as the rise of Islam, political liberalism, the contradictions between individual freedom and system-rationality.
The last chapter provides an overview of the choices that Europe will have to make.

This book is to be recommended for readers interested in the future of Europe.