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About this book

This major new text provides a uniquely broad ranging introduction to, and assessment of the contribution of, the whole range of theoretical approaches that have been applied to the analysis of European integration. It provides tools for understanding the underlying logic behind the political and economic debates that take place in the EU today.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Introduction

Abstract
Theoretical and conceptual accounts of European integration abound. It is rare these days for an academic publication on European integration not to be anchored in a conceptual framework of one kind or another, while claiming to deepen, test, enlarge or reinterpret a theoretical account.
Sabine Saurugger

Why Integrate? Theories of Integration

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Original Debates

Abstract
While regional integration studies are no recent phenomenon, they certainly gained in importance after the Second World War. The extent to which the world became organized according to regional logics increased steadily. Trade flows, direct investments or indeed the activities of international organizations were increasingly concentrated within ‘regions’ — often entire continents — as well as globally. With the end of the First World War, the prevalence of a system based on states with a tendency to engage in conflict was called into question — how to establish more effective balance of power mechanisms? In both academic and political circles the liberal idea of rejecting the state as an ultimate form of human governance emerged. Yet state conflict soon led to the subsequent horrors of 1939–45. International and supranational institutions were thought necessary to help overcome the antagonistic attitudes of states, in particular in Europe. On the one hand, these ideas were rooted in economic institutions created during the 1920s such as the European Customs Union and the International Steel Cartel which associated German, French and British steel producers. At the same time, the rise of American political and economic power triggered fear among the European elite that the continent would lose its central position in world affairs.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 2. Neofunctionalism

Abstract
Neofunctionalism is one of the best-known and ‘basic’ theories of European integration. Closely associated with Ernst B. Haas, who developed the notion at the end of the 1950s as part of his Ph.D. research on the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), neofunctionalism is today one of the most commonly referred to theories of European integration, either through counter-arguments attempting to refute it as convincing theory (more often than not) or recognition of its contribution and attempts to broaden its scope (more rarely). Like the conceptual frameworks analysed in Chapter 1, neofunctionalism seeks to establish why states accept the idea of being part of an international or supranational organization. However, it also attempts to go beyond this question by analysing the process leading to regional integration. While functionalism was profoundly anchored in normative thought, espousing conditions designed to bring about a more peaceful and fairer world, neofunctionalist approaches to integration are analytical, seeking to understand the reasons for, processes leading to, and consequences of, regional integration.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 3. Intergovernmentalism

Abstract
Critiques of the neofunctionalist approach became increasingly elaborate during the 1960s. Two factors are able to explain this: one empirical, the other theoretical. The empirical variable refers to the ‘Empty Chair Crisis’ (1965/66) during which France refused to attend any intergovernmental meetings in Brussels, and the dual rejection of British candidatures in 1963 and 1967. More precisely, it was neofunctionalism’s failure to explain General de Gaulle’s policy of obstruction within the European Community that led to a renewed theoretical interest in European integration by intergovernmentalists in the mid-1960s. What emerged was a rather exaggerated intergovernmentalist account of the 1960s and 1970s as the decades of Eurosclerosis, when economic recession led to the rise of new non-tariff barriers to trade among EC member states. The establishment of the European Council in 1974, a regular summit meeting of EU heads of state and government, was furthermore interpreted as the strengthening of intergovernmental aspects of the Community. At the same time however, integration continued and the role of the ECJ expanded (Chapter 2).
Sabine Saurugger

Mainstreaming European Studies

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. Institutionalist Approaches

Abstract
The EU is undoubtedly one of the most institutionalized political systems in the world, with a dense network of intergovernmental, supranational and non-state actors producing a set of laws — the EU’s so-called acquis communautaire. From this point of view the self-definition of many European scholars as institutionalists is not surprising.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 5. Governance

Abstract
While constructivist and institutionalist approaches have been applied to certain puzzles of European integration largely ignored by the ‘conventional’ theoretical approaches covered in the first part of this book, such as a European identity or the independent role of European institutions, research on the EU also started to investigate the general functioning of an increasingly integrated social and political system, spread over numerous levels of government and including a large set of both public and private actors.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 6. Europeanization and Public Policy Transfer

Abstract
The concept of Europeanization seeks to understand the influence of the EU and European integration more generally on political, economic and social change within each member state. The SEA and the Maastricht Treaty spawned new research interest at the beginning of the 1990s. The deepening of European integration and the legalization of new policy areas increased the pressure at member-state level to adapt to European norms. ‘Europe’ seemed to be everywhere: not a single ministry or agent at the domestic level could ignore the outcome of European integration. The way cheese is produced, a cucumber grown, the hunting season organized, a footballer recruited or toys sold are influenced by EU law.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 7. Constructivism(s)

Abstract
Constructivist approaches to European integration emerged at the end of the 1990s. Initially developed in the disciplines of sociology and anthropology, constructivist approaches defend the idea that ‘reality is socially constructed and that the sociology of knowledge must analyse the processes within which this occurs’ (Berger and Luckmann 1966: 1). Constructivism concentrates on the question of how ideational factors (world-views, ideas, collective understandings, norms, values, cognitive schemes, etc.) dominate political action. In other words, how do norms shape political outcomes?
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 8. Sociological Perspectives on European Integration

Abstract
Within the burgeoning body of literature on conceptual and theoretical approaches to the EU, a ‘sociologizing movement’ emerged at the end of the 1990s. In the Handbook of European Union Politics, an entire chapter is dedicated to the sociology of European integration (Favell 2007). While sociological approaches are not entirely new in EU studies (Middlemas 1995; Bach 2000), they have only recently come to be considered as potentially relevant for the analysis of the EU (Rumford 2002, 2009; Favell and Guiraudon 2011; Saurugger and Mérand 2010).
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 9. Political Theory

Abstract
Political theory appeared at a relatively late stage in European integration studies, both as a subject of analysis and as an approach to analysing the process of European integration. The aim of political theory is a normative one: it draws up the standards required to create and maintain the legitimate political order necessary for the good functioning of institutions and policies. European political theory develops frameworks to understand the formation of a political entity or, more precisely, the creation of a demos at European level. Political theory covers a wide range of research objects: democracy, fairness, justice, citizenship and virtue (Leca 2001). The theoretical perspective questions the ‘stateness’ of the EU as well as its democratic character. What are the consequences from a normative point of view when the member states of the EU do not have complete sovereignty? To what extent does the EU exhibit the features of a (single) state? Must the EU be judged by the same standards as any other state would be (MacCormick 1999; Føllesdal 2007a, 2007b)? Reflecting on the fundamental principles of political life in the ‘new Europe’ is as relevant and necessary as it is for considering any national political system. Normative considerations of the form that a union between European citizens and a union between nations should take is in itself not new, as is shown in the first part of the chapter.
Sabine Saurugger

The European Union and the World

Frontmatter

Chapter 10. International Relations and European Integration

Abstract
This chapter is based on the assumption that European integration cannot be understood without reintroducing international relations perspectives into mainstream theoretical frameworks of EU studies. On the one hand, this concerns the internal aspect of intergovernmental bargaining between — at least partially — sovereign states. The positions of member states in negotiating directives and regulations must not only be understood as similar to those of federal member states such as the Länder in Germany. In the EU, the member states’ ‘positions’ are formulated as those of sovereign states, representing ‘national interests’.
Sabine Saurugger

Chapter 11. Comparing Forms of Regional Integration: Beyond European Studies

Abstract
This final chapter returns to the question raised at the beginning of the book, i.e. the extent to which European integration could be analysed as a unique or sui generis phenomenon, in the language of European studies specialists. It argues that European integration theories would benefit from situating themselves in a broader perspective, i.e. regional integration, in general. While this perspective was central in the 1950s and 1960s, this trend waned somewhat, until the middle of the 1990s, when comparisons of regionalization once again appeared on the academic agenda. This renewed interest was the result of an empirical phenomenon: the emergence of a new regional dynamic with the renewed launch of European integration processes and the transformation of the European Community into the EU, the creation of NAFTA, Mercosur, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), and the relative strengthening of ASEAN.
Sabine Saurugger

Conclusion

Conclusion

Abstract
The last sixty years of European integration have seen the development of a wide range of theories and conceptual tools to explain the why, how and whereto of the regional integration process. This volume has had two aims: First, to explain these theoretical and conceptual innovations, and to put them into perspective with those developments that have taken place in the disciplines of political science and international relations more generally. The second objective was to develop arguments in favour of reintroducing concepts stemming from international relations — more specifically, of concentrating on actors and their representations — into the mainstreaming movement of European studies. This conclusion brings us back to two key questions that run through all the chapters: What have these theories managed to do? And which features of the political system that is the EU still need closer scrutiny?
Sabine Saurugger
Additional information