This chapter provides an overview of intergovernmentalist integration theory, focusing on classical, liberal, and ‘newer’ variants. It first introduces the basic premises and assumptions of intergovernmentalism, identifying its realist origins and the state-centrism that provides the core of the approach, before examining in more detail the specific characteristics of the classical approach associated with the work of Stanley Hoffmann. The subsequent section also examines some of the ways in which intergovernmentalist thinking has contributed to different explanations of European integration. The topics covered in this section are: confederalism; the domestic politics approach; and institutional analyses that emphasize the ‘locked-in’ nature of nation states within the integration process. Next, the chapter introduces liberal intergovernmentalism, an approach developed by Andrew Moravcsik, which, since the mid-1990s, has become a focal point for intergovernmentalist research and addresses. This section also identifies some of the criticisms directed at the liberal intergovernmentalist approach. The chapter ends by introducing new intergovernmentalism, the most recent intergovernmentalist approach.
1. Theories of European Integration
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.
8. The Common Agricultural Policy
The Fortress Challenged
This chapter examines the processes that make up the European Union’s common agricultural policy (CAP), with particular emphasis on how the Community method functions in agriculture and how it upheld for decades the walls of fortress CAP. Today’s CAP bears little resemblance to the system of the 1960s, except for comparatively high tariff protection. The controversial device of price support has largely been replaced by direct payments to producers. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of CAP before discussing two variants of the Community method in agriculture: hegemonic intergovernmentalism and competitive intergovernmentalism. It argues that the challenge for CAP regulators today is not to prevent a hypothetical comeback to the price-support system or generalized market intervention, but to prevent the fragmentation of the single market through a muddled implementation of greening and the consolidation of uneven regimes of support among member states.
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.
14. Global governance
Richard Jolly and Thomas G. Weiss
This chapter discusses ‘global governance’, the term now used widely to analyse the international system. Global governance consists of collective efforts to identify, understand, and address worldwide problems and processes that go beyond the capacities of individual states. The question of how to improve global economic governance can be understood by addressing the main ‘gaps’ in the international system: knowledge, norms, policies, institutions, leadership, and compliance. The chapter then presents three illustrations of current issues in global governance—and the gaps therein—to help in understanding international responses (both weak and strong) to communicable diseases, economic instability, and child welfare. Ultimately, addressing global governance problems requires more robust intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
4. EU Member States
Ramona Coman and Daniel Kenealy
This chapter focuses on the member states of the EU. It begins by considering how two different theories—liberal intergovernmentalism and postfunctionalism—explain member states’ engagement with the EU and the different visions of EU integration held by the member states. It goes on to explore the important role of the member states in the EU’s decision-making processes with a focus on the coalitions and cleavages among the member states, the importance of the rotating presidency of the Council (of ministers), and the increasing role of the European Council in setting the EU’s political agenda. The chapter discusses key concepts such as Europeanization, euroscepticism, and differentiated integration, which help understand the challenges faced by a Union of 27 diverse member states.
23. The EU as a new political system
This chapter examines the development and operation of the European Union (EU) from a comparative politics perspective. It first considers the evolution of the EU, from the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1951 that established the European Coal and Steel Community to the admission of Lithuania in 2015 as the nineteenth member of the eurozone, and the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016. The chapter then explores the process of European integration and goes on to explain what it means to think of the EU as a political system. It also describes the two basic dimensions of the EU system: the vertical dimension (the EU as a ‘regulatory state’) and the horizontal dimension (the design and operation of EU decision-making). The chapter concludes by analysing the ‘missing link’ in the EU system—the lack of genuine democratic politics.
3. The rise of modern international order
This chapter examines the rise of modern international order. It begins with a discussion of international orders before the modern period, focusing on how trade and transport helped to link diverse parts of the world. It then considers debates about the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, along with nineteenth-century developments such as industrialization and imperialism. It also explores the main ideas that underpinned modern international order, the ‘shrinking of the planet’ that arose from the advent of new technologies, the emergence of intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, and the advent of a radically unequal international order. The chapter concludes with case studies on the dual character of international law and imperialism in China.
1. The European Union and its Member States: An Overview
Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne
This chapter provides an overview of the European Union and its member states. It first explains why the member states matter in the EU before discussing the role of member states in the EU, with particular emphasis on three approaches to understanding member state–EU relations: intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and governance approaches. It then examines the Europeanization of the member states as well as the revival of domestic politics approaches, which claim that it is impossible to understand the EU in light of its politicization during the 2010s. It concludes by presenting the logic and structure of this volume: how the relationship between the EU and its member states will be portrayed in the chapters that follow.
This chapter examines the expansion of three central phenomena associated with liberalism and its emphasis on the potentially peace-promoting effects of domestic and transnational institutions: the spread of democracy throughout most of the world; globalization; and the proliferation of intergovernmental organizations, especially those composed primarily of democratic governments. Each of these assumptions supports and extends the other in a powerful feedback system envisioned by Immanuel Kant. The chapter first considers four major changes in the world over the last century and particularly over recent decades before discussing the ‘epidemiology’ of international conflict. It then explores constraints on war from the perspective of realism vs. liberal institutionalism, whether democracies are peaceful in general, and how order is nurtured within anarchy. It also presents a case study of the European Union and concludes with some reflections on power, hegemony, and liberalism.
7. International institutions
This chapter looks at intergovernmental organisations and international regimes. As several environmental problems have transnational implications, governments have been eager to establish international institutions to address these problems collectively. In the aftermath of the landmark 1972 Stockholm Summit on the Human Environment, states created several international institutions specifically dedicated to environmental protection. Over time, and in keeping with broader trends in global politics, these institutions have begun to interact with institutions that specialize on other topics. The chapter then tracks international environmental institutions' development and impacts over time. It also considers how international environmental institutions exhibit differing levels of autonomy, before going on to look at the interactions between international institutions, in particular the dynamics of synergy and conflict between them. Finally, the chapter studies the literature on actual or planned reforms to the institutional architecture for global environmental governance.
1. Why EU institutions matter:
five dimensions of EU institutional politics
Dermot Hodson, Uwe Puetter, and Sabine Saurugger
The European Union (EU) cannot be understood without reference to its institutions. But scholars differ on the questions of what precisely EU institutions are, what they do, and why they matter. This chapter defines EU institutions as decision-making bodies. It refers to the notion of EU institutional politics as the sphere of informal and formal rules, norms, procedures, and practices that shape such decision-making. The chapter explores how different theoretical traditions—international relations, integration theory, new institutionalism, the separation of powers, governance, public policy and administration approaches, and critical perspectives—think about EU institutions. Drawing on these traditions, this chapter encourages readers to think about EU institutions along five dimensions: intergovernmental versus supranational, international versus transnational, separated versus fused power, leaders versus followers, and contested versus legitimate. Seeing how the Union’s decision-making bodies move within and between these dimensions offers a deeper understanding of why EU institutions matter.
3. The European Council:
the Union’s supreme decision-maker
Luuk van Middelaar and Uwe Puetter
This chapter discusses the central role of the European Council in European Union (EU) politics and policymaking. Even though it was not listed among the EU’s core institutions until the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council regularly intervenes in EU decision-making to make other institutional actors follow its guidance. Initially, it was meant to be predominantly an informal institution for direct exchanges between the heads of state or government of the member states. Yet it assumed responsibility for landmark decisions which paved the way for key steps in integration, such as EU enlargements and the euro. The European Council has arguably saved the Union from break-up by acting as its ultimate crisis manager and, at times, has skirted the boundaries of EU law by finding institutional compromises and fixes. The institution plays a guiding role, especially in relation to the Commission and the Council of the European Union, which was formerly known as the Council of Ministers. The European Council devises strategic guidelines for policy development, shapes processes of institutional reform, and breaks impasses when agreement cannot otherwise be found. Since the Treaty of Maastricht, European Council intervention has become a routine in new EU policy areas, such as euro area economic governance and foreign policy. The Treaty of Lisbon assigns the European Council its own full-time president and places the institution right after the European Parliament (EP) in the list of EU institutions. Even though it has shaped European integration since 1975, the European Council did not find much recognition in traditional theories of European integration. This has changed more recently, with renewed debate about intergovernmentalism in EU politics.
4. Liberal Intergovernmentalism
Andrew Moravcsik and Frank Schimmelfennig
This chapter focuses on liberal intergovernmentalism (LI), which has acquired the status of a ‘baseline theory’ in the study of regional integration: an essential first-cut explanation against which other theories are often compared. The chapter argues that LI has achieved this dominant status due to its theoretical soundness, empirical power, and utility as a foundation for synthesis with other explanations. After providing an overview of LI’s main assumptions and propositions, the chapter illustrates LI’s scope and empirical power with two recent cases: migration policy and the euro. It closes by considering common criticisms levelled against LI, as well as the scope conditions under which it is most likely to explain state behaviour. This chapter concludes by emphasizing LI’s openness to dialogue and synthesis with other theories and reiterating its status as a baseline theory of European integration.
7. The Role of the Member States
The Europeanization of Foreign Policy?
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.
14. The European Council and the Council of the European Union (EU)
This chapter focuses on two European Union (EU) institutions that are principally composed of government representatives: the European Council and the Council of the EU. By virtue of their composition of government representatives (government heads, ministers, and civil servants), both the European Council and the Council of the EU remain part of a hierarchy of EU institutions. The chapter first provides an overview of definitions and distinctions, before discussing the intergovernmentalism of the European Council and how the Council of the European Union helped increase the supranationalism of the EU. It also considers the role of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) and various preparatory committees.
21. International Organizations in Global Politics
This chapter examines the nature of international organizations and their role in global politics. It first explains what an international organization is before discussing the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, focusing on developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It then considers the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have made significant contributions in shaping the global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. It also looks at non-governmental organizations and concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and global civil society, along with their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations.
18. Governance and Organizations in Global Politics
This chapter examines the ways in which governance and organizations influence global politics. It first provides an overview of what an international organization is, focusing on intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, before discussing the rise of organizations in the global sphere from the nineteenth century onwards. It then takes a look at the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played a major role in shaping global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations (UN). The chapter concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and civil society, along with their relationship to contemporary governance and organizations.
15. Justice and Home Affairs
Exposing the Limits of Political Integration
This chapter examines the European Union’s justice and home affairs (JHA), which have evolved from a peripheral aspect into a focal point of European integration and today are at the centre of politicization in the EU. It first considers the institutionalization of JHA cooperation and its gradual move towards more supranational competences before discussing political contestation as expressed in the context of Brexit and the crisis of the common asylum and Schengen systems. The development of cooperation is retraced, looking at the main actors in the JHA, the organization and capacities of EU institutions, the continuity of intergovernmentalism, the proliferation of semi-autonomous agencies and databases, and the flow of policy, taking into account asylum policy and immigration policy, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and the challenge of implementation. The chapter shows how the gradual move of cooperation among national agencies concerned with combating crime; fighting terrorism; and managing borders, immigration, and asylum from loose intergovernmental cooperation to more supranational governance within the EU has remained contested, and argues that this contestation exemplifies the limits of political unification.
2. Theorizing EU Policy-Making
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.