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Chapter

Cover The European Union

11. Conclusion  

Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, and Richard Corbett

The EU is extraordinary, complex and—in important respects—unique. This concluding chapter revisits three key themes that can help structure understanding of the EU: experimentation and change; power sharing and consensus; and scope and capacity. It also returns to the question: how can we best explain the EU and how it works? Finally, the chapter confronts the question: ‘Where do we go from here’? Does knowing how the EU works give clues about how it might work in the future? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic will the EU develop in a more intergovernmental or federal manner? Or will the sort of flexible pragmatism that has helped the EU survive to this point characterize the future?

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

1. Integration and Disintegration before 1945  

Peter Stirk

This chapter examines patterns of national integration and international disintegration in the decades before World War II. It first provides an overview of integration and disintegration before World War I, along with World War I and postwar reconstruction, before discussing the challenge of the New Order envisioned by Adolf Hitler. It argues that national integration was a source of myths that formed an obstacle to the consolidation of incipient European integration. It also shows that economic integration did not lead inexorably to political unification and that visions of empire, central to the history of the major European states, challenged the supposed pre-eminence of the nation state and were bound up, in varying degrees, with some visions of integration. Finally, the chapter explains how integration, often assumed to be a peaceful process in contrast to the violent proclivities of nationalism and the nation state, has not always taken a benign form.

Book

Cover European Integration Theory

Antje Wiener, Tanja A. Börzel, and Thomas Risse

European Integration Theory provides an overview of the major approaches to European integration, from federalism and neofunctionalism to liberal intergovernmentalism, social constructivism, normative theory, and critical political economy. Each chapter represents a contribution to the ‘mosaic of integration theory’. The contributors reflect on the development, achievements, and problems of their respective approach. In the fully revised and updated third edition, the contributors examine current crises with regard to the economy, migration, and security. Two concluding chapters assess, comparatively, the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and look at the emerging issues. The third edition includes new contributions on the topics of regional integration, discourse analysis, federalism, and critical political economy.

Chapter

Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

5. The Single Market  

Central to Brexit

Alasdair R. Young

This chapter examines the renewal of the single European market (SEM) as a major turning point in European policy-making. It presents the argument that many of the analyses that proliferated in response to the Single European Act (SEA) and the SEM overstated their novelty and understated some of the surrounding factors that helped to induce their ‘success’. The chapter first provides a historical background on how the single market was established before discussing the politics of policy-making in the SEM. It explains how new ideas about market regulation permeated the European Union policy process and facilitated legislative activism and important changes in the policy-implementing processes, culminating in the ‘1992 programme’ to make the single market a reality. Although the task of ‘completing’ the single market remains unfinished, the chapter shows that it has moved to the heart of European integration and altered the pattern of state–market relations in Europe. As a consequence, the single market has played a central role in the Brexit process. The Brexit process has also revealed how far the single market has developed.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

1. Introduction  

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

This chapter comprises a very brief introduction to European Union (EU) politics. It aims to help those students who are completely new to the EU by drawing attention to some general background information and context, which should help to make sense of the chapters that follow. To that end this introductory chapter begins by explaining what the EU is, why it was originally set up, and what the EU does. The chapter ends by explaining how the book is organized.

Book

Cover The European Union

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, Richard Corbett, and John Peterson

The European Union: How Does It Work? is a perfect introduction to the European Union, providing concise, accessible coverage of the main actors, policies, and developments in the EU. An expert team of leading scholars and practitioners cuts through the complexity to explain how the EU works in theory and practice. The book equips readers with the knowledge and skills required to master the subject. Helpful learning features throughout the text help to develop readers’ understanding of the EU. ‘How it really works’ boxes demonstrate the working of the EU in practice, and challenge readers to contrast this with theoretical perspectives. ‘Key terms and concepts’ boxes provide concise definitions or summaries of words and ideas that are essential to understanding the EU. And each chapter contains ‘Spotlight’ boxes exploring specific cases that highlight how the EU works, what it does, or how it has evolved. Taken together, these features encourage readers to think critically about the reality of politics in the EU. This edition explores ongoing challenges to the EU, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and the erosion of democratic standards in some EU member states.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

2. How Did We Get Here?  

Desmond Dinan

This chapter focuses on the historical development of the EU. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after World War II by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from postwar reconstruction to the Cold War, and then to globalization. Driven largely by mutually compatible national interests, Franco-German bargains, and American influence, politicians responded by establishing the EC in the 1950s and the EU in the 1990s. The chapter examines the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community, the European Community, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), enlargement, Constitution-building, and the Eurozone crisis.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

1. Introducing the Mosaic of Integration Theory  

Thomas Diez and Antje Wiener

This chapter introduces the ‘mosaic of integration theory’ as a pluralist approach and heuristic device which centres on the variety of research questions and objectives raised by the broad spectrum of integration theorists operating in different areas and pursuing different purposes. The metaphor of the ‘mosaic’ indicates that each theoretical approach can be seen as a stone that adds to the picture of the EU as an unfinished and changing order. The mosaic approach rests on general conceptual definitions, for example, of ‘integration’ and ‘theory’ based on distinctions between ‘narrow’ and ‘broader’ definitions of integration: broader definitions of integration include both a social process (the shifting of loyalties) and a political process (the construction of new political institutions) while narrower definitions centre on the political institutions. The chapter differentiates three distinct uses of theory that are represented by this book’s contributions and form part of the mosaic approach, for example, theory as ‘explanation and understanding’, as ‘description and analysis’, or as ‘critique and normative intervention’. These uses are applied to study politics, polity, and policy as the three main areas of integration over distinct periods. Finally, the chapter introduces this book’s common research questions about economic, refugee, and security crises, and introduces all contributions.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

2. Theories of EU Governance  

This chapter examines theories of European Union governance. As European integration progressed, the academic focus began to shift from explaining the integration process to understanding the EU as a political system. As such, EU scholars increasingly drew on approaches from the study of domestic and comparative politics. This chapter surveys a number of approaches that focus on the EU as a political system. These approaches are quite varied and include new institutionalism, governance, and policy network approaches. At the end of the chapter attention is turned to some of the overall characterizations of EU governance that also offer valuable insights: supranational governance; new intergovernmentalism; and differentiated integration.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

24. Environmental Policy  

Viviane Gravey, Andrew Jordan, and David Benson

Despite its very strong economic roots, the European Union has nonetheless become an international leader in environmental protection and sustainable development policy. Environmental concerns have consequently shifted from being a marginal aspect of the European integration process to one that routinely grabs news headlines and, unlike many other EU policy areas, generates relatively strong political support from EU citizens. In the past, these policies, which now impinge on most sectors and areas of the economy, have proven resilient to economic and deregulatory pressures. This chapter documents and explores the reasons behind the relatively rapid transformation in the EU’s governing capabilities in this policy area, explores the main dynamics of policy-making from different analytical perspectives, and explores the impact of challenges such as climate change, Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

4. Neo-functionalism  

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

Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Causation  

Sierens Vivien and Ramona Coman

This chapter studies causation, which occupies a central place in the social sciences. In their attempts to understand and explain ‘why’ social, economic, and political phenomena occur, scholars have dealt with causality in many different ways. The way to define and observe causal relationships has always been at the heart of harsh academic debates in social as well as natural sciences. Drawing on distinctive ontological and epistemological standpoints, at least four different understandings of causation have emerged in political science. Most authors have adopted a correlational-probabilistic understanding of causation, but some have preferred a configurational one, while others have adopted a mechanistic or even a counterfactual understanding. To illustrate the concrete methodological challenges generated by this theoretical pluralism, the chapter discusses how scholars have dealt with causality to explain the impact of European integration on domestic policies and institutions.

Book

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union
Origins and Evolution of the European Union provides an authoritative account of the emergence and evolution of the European Union from the aftermath of World War II to the uncertainties of the present era. It explains the forces, events, and individuals that have shaped one of the most unusual and controversial political entities in history. This second edition covers key issues including the antecedents of European integration in the years before World War II; the challenges of reconstruction and reconciliation in the early post-war period; the ups and downs of European integration in 1960s and 1970s; the acceleration of European integration in the late 1980s and early 1990s; almost-continuous enlargement; the eurozone crisis; the constitutionalization of the EU; and Britain's troubled membership. The text is updated throughout and includes new chapters focusing on the United Kingdom and European integration, and the constitutionalization of the EU.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

9. From Deadlock to Dynamism  

The European Community in the 1980s

N. Piers Ludlow

This chapter examines the origins of the European Community's (EC) transformation, arguing that the most important factor was the emergence of a new degree of consensus among economic and political leaders about what ‘Europe’ should do. In the course of the mid-1980s, the EC went from being a seemingly moribund entity to a rapidly developing success story. The launch of the single market programme revitalized the EC, helped it overcome long-standing institutional paralyses, created onward pressure for yet more integration, and forced the rest of the world to pay heed to the European integration process once more. The chapter explains how the apparently narrow target of establishing an internal market within the EC encouraged multiple other efforts to integrate Western Europe more closely. It also considers the important role played by national governments and the European Council in shaping the direction of European integration.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

1. Introduction  

Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, and Richard Corbett

This chapter discusses the practical and analytical reasons for studying the EU. It presents the EU as a complex and innovative political entity, comprising its member states, its institutions, and its citizens. The chapter presents some of the key theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding how the EU has developed historically and how it works today. Furthermore, it outlines three broad themes that help the reader make sense of the EU: experimentation and change; power sharing and consensus; and scope and capacity. Finally, it provides an overview of the chapters that follow, which cover topics ranging from an historical overview of the EU’s development to its institutional architecture, from its policy-making process to its democratic credentials, from its key internal policies to its growing role as an actor on the global stage.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

10. Current and Future Challenges  

Amelia Amelia, Daniel Kenealy, and Richard Corbett

As it moves into the third decade of the 21st century, the EU faces a number of new and unprecedented challenges–as well as some perennial ones. The chapter opens with a discussion of the challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit). It goes on to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed a series of pre-existing internal and external policy challenges, as well as creating new ones. These in turn have raised questions about various aspects of the EU’s governance, from the size and scope of its budget to the quality of democracy across its member states; from the role of the Commission to decision-making rules in the Council. How well the EU responds to these many challenges will shape the future of the Union.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

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.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

8. The EU as a Global Actor  

Niklas Helwig

The EU’s ambitions to be a global power are a surprising by-product of European integration. Students of European foreign policy mostly focus on EU trade, aid, and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). But the national foreign policy activities of its member states cannot be neglected. On most economic issues, the EU is able to speak with a single voice. It has more difficulty showing solidarity on aid policy but is powerful when it does. The Union’s external policy aspirations now extend to traditional foreign and security policy. But distinct national policies persist, and the EU suffers from fragmented leadership. The chapter begins by considering the development of EU foreign policy and then considers how a national system of foreign policies exists alongside EU policies in the area of trade and international development. It then examines the EU’s CFSP and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).