The present book has a long prehistory in which its theoretical outlines were staked out and its empirical foundations laid. The ensuing collaborative work of an international and interdisciplinary team of European social scientists over a period of four years had produced a database of a unique substance and territorial scope that has established a new basis for the study of European integration. We wish to thank all who have contributed to this work for creating a highly stimulating intellectual environment, but special thanks go to members of the ‘elite-group’ in the IntUne project for providing the hard empirical evidence at the core of this book. We extend our thanks to Maurizio Cotta and Pierangelo Isernia for their vision in suggesting the IntUne project and their entrepreneurial skills when they put it into reality. We also thank the members of the ‘Siena Centre’ of the Project – the project managers Nicolò Conti, his successor Elisabetta De Giorgi, and the project secretary, Alice Mackenzie – for their ceaseless efforts to keep the convoy of the IntUne project together, to fuel its engines and to keep the records straight. We also thank Andreas Hallermann and his successor Stefan Jahr (both at Jena University) for their highly professional contribution to coordinating the data gathering and for providing the integrated and edited data-sets of the IntUne elite survey.
A large number of colleagues played an essential role in this project as discussants and reviewers, and many gave their time in organizing the IntUne conferences (in Siena, Bratislava, Budapest, Granada, and Lisbon), which were all way-stations on the long path to the completion of this volume. It is impossible to list them all by name, but we would like to express our deep gratitude to them. We would particularly like to acknowledge the contribution of the conference that took place in Jena in June 2009. This was jointly organized by the IntUne project and the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre ‘Societal Development After Systemic Change’ and marked the beginning of the final stage of the book project. The completion of the book was also advanced by the admission of one of the editors as Senior Associate Member to St. Antony’s College, Oxford in 2010 and the subsequent access to the excellent and extremely helpful research facilities as Oxford University.
(p.xx) Our final thanks go to Verona Christmas-Best for acting as liaison between the editors, authors, and OUP, but foremost for her excellent work in revising and editing a book with no native English speaker in the ranks of its authors. Her work resulted not only in a marked improvement of the book’s readability, but also in the consistency and coherence of ‘The Europe of Elites’.