Theorising, which means positing explanations of phenomena, has constituted the base of much academic writing on European integration and EU politics. Broadly speaking, this writing is of two main types. First, there are attempts to theorise the general nature of the integration process. Such theorising is not as fashionable today as it once was, but it is still seen by most scholars as being worthwhile, and it certainly marks the point of departure for a great deal of other theoretical work. Grand theory, as general integration theory is commonly known, is studied in the first section of the chapter. Second, there are attempts to develop theoretical approaches to particular aspects of the functioning of the EU, especially policy and decisionmaking. Operating at the middle-range level, or as it is sometimes called the meso level, rather than at the general level, this has been a major growth area in scholarly work on the EU in recent years. It is the subject of the second section of the chapter.
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