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Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

7. Under the Shadow of Stagflation  

European Integration in the 1970s

Richard T. Griffiths

This chapter examines European integration during the 1970s. The 1970s is often portrayed as a dismal decade in the history of European integration, when the European Community (EC) experienced severe turbulence as it digested Britain's accession and was buffeted by the global economic downturn. Stagflation and Eurosclerosis — sluggish economic growth combined with institutional immobility — ensued. At the same time, however, the Community developed in important ways. The European Court of Justice generated an impressive body of case law, and the EC coped with the challenges of enlargement, the break-up of the international monetary system, and the consequences of slower economic growth. The chapter rejects the notion that the 1970s was a dismal decade in the history of European integration and describes it as a transitional period between the launch of the Community in the 1960s and the acceleration of European integration in the 1980s.


Cover International Relations Since 1945

13. ‘Stagflation’ and the Trials of Détente, 1973–6  

This chapter examines the onset of the so-called stagflation and the problems that beset détente during the period 1973–6. In the aftermath of Israel’s victories in the Six Day War, a situation of ‘no peace, no war’ prevailed in the Middle East. Attempts in 1970 and 1971 by the United Nations and the United States to make progress on a peace settlement proved futile. The chapter first considers the Middle East War of October 1973, which sparked a confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, before discussing the impact of stagflation, especially on the Bretton Woods system. It then explores political problems in Europe and how European détente reached a high point in the Helsinki conference of 1975. It concludes with an analysis of détente and crises in less developed countries such as Chile, South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Angola.