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This chapter examines a number of theories of European integration. It first considers the intellectual predecessors of the first attempts to theorize European integration, focusing in particular on the functionalism of David Mitrany, the federalism of Altiero Spinelli, and the ‘federal-functionalism’ of Jean Monnet. It discusses neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism, along with liberal intergovernmentalism, and the fact that while theorizing European integration has moved on significantly from these early approaches, much of what followed was either framed by this debate or developed as a rejection of it. The chapter then introduces postfunctionalism as a more recent rival theory that helps explain the greater political controversy surrounding integration in the period following the Maastricht period, and particularly during the 2010s.

Chapter

Ana E. Juncos and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

The process of enlargement has transformed the European Union. It has had far-reaching implications for the shape and definition of Europe, and for the institutional set-up and the major policies of the Union. This has been accomplished through a number of enlargement rounds, which the first section of the chapter analyses in detail. This is followed by a review of the enlargement process itself, with a focus on the use of conditionality and the role of the main actors involved. The contributions of neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism, and social constructivism to explaining the EU’s geographical expansion are evaluated in the third section of the chapter. The success and prospect of future enlargement are discussed in the context of wider EU developments, especially the effect of the economic crisis in the euro area, ‘enlargement fatigue’, the domestic context in the candidate countries, and Brexit.

Chapter

Carsten Strøby Jensen

This chapter reviews a theoretical position, neo-functionalism, which was developed in the mid-1950s by scholars based in the United States. The fundamental argument of the theory is that states are not the only important actors on the international scene. As a consequence, neo-functionalists focus their attention on the role of supranational institutions and non-state actors, such as interest groups and political parties, who, they argue, are the real driving force behind integration efforts. The chapter that follows provides an introduction to the main features of neo-functionalist theory, its historical development since the 1950s and how neo-functionalism is used today. It focuses, more specifically, on three hypotheses advanced by neo-functionalists: the spillover hypothesis; the elite socialization hypothesis; and the supranational interest group hypothesis. The chapter also considers the main critiques of the theory and discusses the ups and downs in the intellectual use of neo-functionalism over the last 50 years. The final section scrutinizes the revival of interest in neo-functionalism and provides some examples of how today’s neo-functionalists differ from those of the 1950s. While neo-functionalism used to be conceptualized as a ‘grand theory’, it is now looked upon and used as a middle-range theory that explains only part of the European integration process.

Chapter

20. Acting for Europe  

Reassessing the European Union’s Role in International Relations

This chapter summarizes the volume's major findings and revisits the three perspectives on the European Union: as a system of international relations, as a participant in wider international processes, and as a power in the world. It also considers the usefulness of the three main theoretical approaches in international relations as applied to the EU's external relations: realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Furthermore, it emphasizes three things which it is clear the EU is not, in terms of its international role: it is not a straightforward ‘pole’ in a multipolar system; it is not merely a subordinate subsystem of Western capitalism, and/or a province of an American world empire, as claimed by both the anti-globalization movement and the jihadists; it is not a channel by which political agency is surrendering to the forces of functionalism and globalization. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the EU's positive contributions to international politics.

Chapter

Ana E. Juncos and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

The process of enlargement has transformed the European Union. It has had far-reaching implications for the shape and definition of Europe, and for the institutional set-up and the major policies of the Union. This has been accomplished through a number of enlargement rounds, which the first section of the chapter analyses in detail. This is followed by a review of the enlargement process itself, with a focus on the use of conditionality and the role of the main actors involved. The contributions of neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism, and social constructivism to explaining the EU’s geographical expansion are evaluated in the third section of the chapter. The success and prospect of future enlargement are discussed in the context of wider EU developments, especially the effect of the economic crisis in the euro area, ‘enlargement fatigue’, the domestic context in the candidate countries, and Brexit.

Chapter

Carsten Strøby Jensen

This chapter reviews a theoretical position, neo-functionalism, which was developed in the mid-1950s by scholars based in the United States. The fundamental argument of the theory is that states are not the only important actors on the international scene. As a consequence, neo-functionalists focus their attention on the role of supranational institutions and non-state actors, such as interest groups and political parties, who, they argue, are the real driving force behind integration efforts. The chapter that follows provides an introduction to the main features of neo-functionalist theory, its historical development since the 1950s, and how neo-functionalism is used today.

Chapter

Mark A. Pollack

This chapter surveys seven decades of theorizing about European Union policy-making and policy processes. It begins with a discussion of theories of European integration, including neo-functionalism, intergovernmentalism, liberal intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, constructivism, and postfunctionalism. It then considers the increasing number of studies that approach the EU through the lenses of comparative politics and comparative public policy, focusing on the federal or quasi-federal aspects of the EU and its legislative, executive, and judicial politics. It finally explores the vertical and horizontal separation of powers in the EU and concludes by looking at the ‘governance approach’ to the EU, with emphasis on multi-level governance and EU policy networks, Europeanization, and the question of the EU’s democratic deficit.

Chapter

7. The Role of the Member States  

The Europeanization of Foreign Policy?

Reuben Wong

This chapter examines the viability of Europeanization as an alternative approach to understanding the foreign policies of European Union member states. It first considers the meanings of Europeanization before proposing an operational definition of Europeanization, linking and contrasting it with the dominant European integration theories, namely neo-functionalism and intergovernmentalism. Three dimensions of Europeanization in national foreign policy are discussed: adaptation and policy convergence, national projection, and identity reconstruction. The chapter also compares Europeanization and intergovernmentalism in the study of national foreign policy and concludes with an overview of challenges involved in Europeanization research. It argues that the Europeanization concept, despite lacking theoretical consistency, remains useful and explains why this is so.