The rise and the evolution of the West was a permanent revolution, in that it manifested an ability to plan, over the centuries, an alternative society. Ever since the Middle Ages, Europe has been able to change, expand, and impose its hegemony. If we are now observing Europe’s decline, this is due not only to mere economic developments but also to the continent’s lack of revolutionary abilities. In this book Paolo Prodi condenses a lifetime devoted to identifying the essential elements of European civilization. The resulting text is a stern and troubled meditation on Europe’s future. The continent appears to be unable to envision a new political covenant capable of addressing the new uncertainties of the age of globalisation.
Paolo Prodi is professor emeritus at the University of Bologna.