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Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

9. European Integration and Gender  

Yvonne Galligan

This chapter analyses theories of European integration through a gender lens. It points to the diversity of perspectives in gender scholarship on European integration, and draws on these different points of view to examine other theoretical approaches. It assumes that gender is a basic organising principle of the social world, and therefore is an integral aspect of European integration. The chapter discusses gender theory and its contribution to the study of European integration. It then goes on to interrogate other European integration theories - liberal intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism, and social constructivism – examining the nature of gendered power that they emphasize and evaluating the extent to which they are open to incorporating a gender-informed perspective. The chapter then analyses the integrationist effect of the European economic crisis on gender equality. This discussion reveals the marginalization of gender equality, and gender mainstreaming, as the neo-liberal response to the economic crisis created new gender inequalities and perpetuated old patterns of gender hierarchy.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

10. Critical Political Economy  

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn and Laura Horn

This chapter examines European integration from the perspective of critical political economy. It first outlines a historical materialist framework for understanding European integration against a broader context of capitalist restructuring; focusing in particular on neo-Gramscian perspectives but also highlighting other strands of critical analysis. The chapter then proceeds with an integrated analysis of economic and monetary union (EMU) as a political project. With a focus on continuity and changes within the political economy of neo-liberalism, the euro crisis serves as a reference point to illustrate the strengths and contributions of critical political economy. Finally, contemporary perspectives on contestation and resistance in European integration are discussed.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

24. Trade and Development Aid  

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) external trade relations in the context of the wider framework of global trade agreements, along with its related policies on development aid, particularly with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states. It first looks at the history of the EU’s trade and development aid, before discussing its contemporary external trade and development policies. It explains the workings of the common commercial policy, considers disputes within the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially with the United States, and explores the EU’s trading relationship with developing countries and near neighbours in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It then considers theoretical explanations of the EU’s external trade and development aid policies, as well as criticisms of such policies. Analysis of the EU’s external economic relations brings to the fore a number of theoretical themes, such as the tension between nationalism and supranationalism, the complexities of bargaining within multiple international forums, and the dominance of particular ideas across different forums.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

20. The Single Market  

Michelle Egan

This chapter charts the evolution of the Single Market, from its original conception in the 1950s, beginning with the Treaty of Rome through to efforts to expand and enforce Single Market commitments in a climate of unfair trade practices and rising economic nationalism. The chapter highlights the tensions and trade-offs between legal and regulatory strategies to integrate markets; the challenges of creating a social market due to internal asymmetries between market integration at supranational level and social protection at national level; and the efforts to facilitate the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labour. The chapter highlights the importance of the Single Market in seeking to promote competitiveness and growth as well as the diffusion of its regulations beyond its borders. It concludes by demonstrating how both traditional international relations theories of integration and newer approaches in comparative politics and international relations, can be used to shed light on the governance of the Single Market.

Chapter

Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

6. Competition Policy  

The Politics of Competence Expansion

Mark Thatcher

This chapter examines the European Union’s competition policy. It shows that the EU’s legal powers in general competition policy—over restrictive practices, abuse of a dominant position, mergers, state aid, and state monopolies—are very extensive and highly supranational with few direct controls for national governments. The chapter then studies two views of the application of these powers—that they have been used in a more ‘neo-liberal’ manner in recent decades or that they continue to provide scope for industrial policies of supporting European champion firms. It underlines that the Commission has been an active and central player in policy-making, together with the European Court. But all actors operate in a wider context of large powerful firms as well as experts and practitioners in competition policy. The chapter concludes by analysing how the economic crisis after 2008 has reignited debates about altering the criteria for policy to give more place to aims other than protecting competition, to offer more space to national policy-makers, and to provide greater scrutiny and accountability for the Commission, as well as greater action to deal with the new ‘digital tech giants’, but that these encounter significant obstacles.