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Cover European Integration Theory

12. Litmus Tests for European Integration Theories  

Explaining Crises and Travelling beyond Europe

Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse

This chapter deals with two litmus tests for theories of European integration. The first part asks, how and to what extent various approaches can explain the contemporary crises of European integration. It thereby tackles the question of whether European integration theories might have biased EU scholars towards ignoring evidence for (dis-)integration. While being more optimistic about the state of the Union than many EU scholars are, the authors of this chapter argue for a more differentiated conceptualization of integration as a continuous variable that takes disintegration, rather than stagnation or no integration, as the opposite value of integration. The second part of the chapter examines to what extent European integration theories are able to shed light on experiences with regionalism across the globe. It argues that they do provide plausible accounts for the emergence of regionalism around the world. Comparing regions points to important scope conditions under which European integration theories operate. When it comes to outcomes, however, they need to be complemented by explanations emphasizing diffusion to clarify why and when states are more inclined to pool and delegate sovereignty in some regions than in others.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

8. Discourse and European Integration  

Ruth Wodak

This chapter examines discourse analysis as an approach to the study of European integration. It first provides an overview of the basic principles underlying discourse studies before tracing its philosophical roots. It then considers when and how discourse studies entered political science, international relations, and European integration studies. It explores three examples of bodies of work that have each operationalized discourse (analysis) in a particular way in order to make it speak to European integration: the first covers governance and political struggle; the second approach posits the discursive configuration of concepts of nation, state, and Europe as layered structures able to explain foreign policy options for a given state; and the third focuses on the project of European integration as a productive paradox. The chapter concludes with a case study on the mediatization and politicization of the refugee crisis in Austria from 2015-2016 by discussing the application of discourse analysis to the nature of the European Union enlargement process.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

15. Citizens and Public Opinion in the European Union  

Simona Guerra and Hans-Jörg Trenz

This chapter provides an overview of trends in public opinion towards the European Union (EU). The chapter also discusses the key factors thought to explain differences in mass opinion regarding the EU. These include political economy and rationality; that is, opinions stemming from calculations about the costs and benefits of the EU; perceptions of the national government (domestic proxies); the influence of political elites; political psychology, including cognitive mobilization (attentiveness to politics) and concerns about the loss of national identity; and, finally, the role of the mass media in driving opinions regarding the EU.