A penetrating new study about what Europe means today, showing how 9/11 was a brief moment of trans-Atlantic solidarity that lit up the international scene, but was quick to fade. This book is about the rift that existed before this historic juncture and has developed since. It examines Europe's distinctiveness in world terms from a range of angles that reveal the true extent of its modern sense of difference. The European Union is the first ever democratic system in the world that has developed supra-national institutions and laws. It also examines the peculiarity of the 'European social model' as opposed to those of the world's other developed nations and regions and argues that such a model captures, despite all its socio-economic and cultural variety, key aspects of European identity. This book will be of great interest to all students of the European Union, international affairs and relations and politics.