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Cover Politics in the European Union

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.


Cover European Union Politics

5. Intergovernmentalism  

Michelle Cini

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.


Cover European Union Politics

18. Enlargement  

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.


Cover European Integration Theory

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.


Cover Global Politics

7. International Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter addresses the nature of international organizations and how they are generally theorized as participants in global politics and then reviews the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, with particular reference to developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It also discusses the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played such an important role in shaping global order. The chapter briefly looks at the League of Nations but most attention is given to its successor, the United Nations (UN), and its various appendages. It then examines the world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of these NGOs possess significant status in the global sphere, others have little relevance, and still others pose dangers. Finally, the chapter considers social movements and their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations along with the idea of global civil society. In reviewing these institutions, actors, and ideas, we should keep in mind that liberal international theory, especially in the form of liberal institutionalism, as well as proponents of international society, regard robust international organizations as essential building blocks of global order.