This study interprets and interrelates the major political, economic and security developments in Europe – including transatlantic relations – from the end of World War II up until the present time, and looks ahead to how the continent may evolve politically in the future. It weaves all the different strands of European events together into a single picture that gives the reader a deep understanding of the continent, and of its current and future challenges. The first chapters trace European reconstruction and political, economic and security developments – both in the East and in the West – leading up to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Later chapters examine the European Union's reform efforts, enlargement, movement to a single currency and emerging security role; the political and economic changes in central and Eastern Europe, including Russia; the break up of Yugoslavia and the wars that ensued; and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)'s enlargement and search for a new mission. Final chapters deal with forces affecting Europe's future, such as terrorism, nationalism, religion, demographic trends and globalisation.