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European Integration Theory

European Integration Theory (3rd edn)

Antje Wiener, Tanja A. Börzel, and Thomas Risse
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Subscriber: null; date: 05 June 2023

p. vPrefacelocked

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  • Antje Wiener,
  • Tanja A. Börzel
  •  and Thomas Risse

When the publisher asked us to revise the second edition of European Integration Theory, the British had just undertaken their now infamous referendum on leaving the European Union. In light of the referendum result, we did discuss whether and how to include reference to the Brexit issue in the present volume. Do we need a theory of leaving the European Union beyond Rebecca Adler-Nissen’s ‘opting out’ of the European Union (Adler-Nissen, 2014)? At the time, we decided it best to consider Brexit as an issue of crisis that matters among others, such as, for example, the security, finance, and migration crises that are addressed with reference to the mosaic of European integration theory presented in this book.

Like all good theories, the mosaic of integration theory is revised from time to time, taking into account conceptual advances and contextual changes, to be improved, to be sure. The third edition therefore retains the range of theoretical approaches, which the editors of the first two editions, Thomas Diez and Antje Wiener, had identified as key to the mosaic of European integration theory. The new editorial team also maintains the method of probing these approaches according to their respective capacity to address issues of European integration from a well-informed theoretical perspective. This said, the current edition does represent changes with regard to editors and issues. First, as well as Antje Wiener the new editorial team includes Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse who bring in a perspective of comparative regionalism, which is presented by a new ‘lessons-learned’ chapter. Second, there are changes with regard to authors and contributions; most notable in this regard is the addition of a chapter on discourse theoretic approaches to European integration by Ruth Wodak. Third, each chapter of the third edition is composed according to a novel outline. The present edition pitches the range of theoretical approaches against their capability of addressing the issue of a ‘crisis’ of their choice.

By presenting European integration theory as a mosaic rather than a battle over leading paradigms, the various editions sought to move outside the shadow of grand theorizing that ended in stalemate. We continue to be convinced that—instead of consisting of battling paradigms—European integration theory advances and changes in ongoing and rigorous reflection of its research object. This third edition therefore maintains the approach of reflexive theory development based on thorough revisions. The book is a result of rigorous and substantive engagement over various stages, including eight anonymous external referees for Oxford University Press, an authors’ workshop in Berlin which was conducted with generous support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the context of the Research College ‘The Transformative Power of Europe (FOR 1026)’ at Freie Universität Berlin, and the subsequent revisions involving authors and editors alike. We would like to expressly thank all referees for undertaking the task of reviewing, evaluating, and commentating on the p. viprospect of a third edition, and are grateful to OUP for their ongoing confidence in our role as editors. In this context, we thank Francesca Walker for accompanying this book as publishing editor, Shweta Tiwari for managing the production process, and Ingalo Thomson for extremely diligent copy-editing. At Freie Universität, we would like to thank our student assistants Sarah Anne Barasa and Helena Birgit Rietmann for putting together the references. At the University of Hamburg, we would like to thank student research assistants Oliver Merschel, Marcel Krone, and David Weiss. Last but not least, we would particularly like to acknowledge Thomas Diez’s important role in conceiving the mosaic of European integration theory back in the early 2000s.

Antje Wiener, Tanja A. Börzel, and Thomas Risse