Thinker's Corner

Children, Health and Crime (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, 169 Clapham Road, London SW9 0PU, 0171-582 6500, £4.50). NACRO's Committee on Children and Crime provides both a diagnosis and a course of treatment for youth crime. The report offers compelling evidence of a complex link between poor physical and mental health among young people and the likelihood of them offending. Drugs, alcohol and abuse are among myriad problems which make children more likely to become involved in crime. The report advocates a three-pronged attack on the problem: the prevention of poor health, promotion of good health and the provision of children-specific services by the NHS. Among the recommendations are putting drug and alcohol education on the National Curriculum and a greater commitment to discovering learning difficulties and mental health problems among schoolchildren at an early age.

Is European Integration Really the Friend of Free Trade? (Politeia, 22 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HR, 0171-240 5070, £7) by James Forder argues that greater European integration and the birth of the euro may result in a return to protectionism, the possibility of a major trade war and even the collapse of the world economy. Forder argues that despite the advances in free trade that have been made possible by the EU, and which have been a driving force in the development of the Union, protectionism may soon become irresistible to the European institutions. Any further rise in European unemployment, or its failure to fall, will place a strain on the public acceptance of integration, already weakened by the euro. With few palatable choices available to soothe the workers' woes, Forder believes that the European Commission will move to protect European producers from foreign competition, rather than water down the Social Chapter.

This article first appeared in the 14 June 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Kosovo: a rich and comfortable war