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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

11. Normative Political Theory and the European Union  

Richard Bellamy and Joseph Lacey

This chapter highlights the three main positions that have come to dominate the normative debate on the European Union: cosmopolitanism (premised on a social contract between individuals globally), statism (premised on a social contract between states), and, more recently, demoicracy (premised on a social contract between states and all their individual citizens). The main body of the chapter attempts to understand each of these normative perspectives, both as freestanding political theories and as they have been applied to the EU. Proponents of each view maintain that the EU embodies some of the principles that comprise their respective theories, but fall short in other regards. Using each of these three theories to evaluate the European response to the refugee crisis, which peaked in 2015, the authors of this chapter attempt to further illustrate the similarities and differences between them. Final reflections concern directions for future research on political theory and the EU.

Chapter

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

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 Politics in the European Union

4. Critical Perspectives  

This chapter examines the range of critical perspectives now applied to the European Union, including social constructivism, critical political economy, critical social theory, critical feminism, and post-structuralism. These critical—often termed ‘post-positivist’—approaches emphasize the constructed and changeable nature of the social and political world. Many such approaches reject the notion that social reality can be objectively observed and argue that various agents, including policy actors and scholars themselves, are involved in its construction. They highlight the less obvious manifestations of power that pervade the interrelated worlds of political action and political theorizing. It is important to consider why these more critical perspectives have been absent for so long within mainstream studies of the EU.

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 European Union Politics

6. Theorizing the European Union after Integration Theory  

Ben Rosamond

This chapter deals with recent theoretical work on the European Union. Three broad analytical pathways are discussed: comparative political science; a revitalized international relations (IR); and ‘critical theories’. This chapter discusses in turn the contribution to EU studies of comparative political science in general and new institutionalist political science, and in particular the emergence of social constructivist approaches to the EU, IR’s contribution to the theorization of EU external action, together with approaches from the subfield of international political economy (IPE), and a variety of critical theoretical readings of the EU. The chapter also explores how IR theories might be brought back into EU studies. The purpose of the chapter is to show how the EU still raises significant questions about the nature of authority, statehood, and the organization of the international system. These questions are doubly significant in the present period of crisis, where the issue of ‘disintegration’ comes to the fore.

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 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.

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 The Institutions of the European Union

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.

Chapter

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.

Book

Cover Democratization

Christian Welzel and Ronald F. Inglehart

Edited by Christian W. Haerpfer and Patrick Bernhagen

Democratization introduces the theoretical and practical dimensions of democratization. Focusing on the ‘global wave of democratization’ that has advanced since the early 1970s, this text examines the major perspectives, approaches, and insights that have informed research on democratization. The book is divided into four parts based on four aspects of democratization. Part One deals with theoretical and historical perspectives; Part Two focuses on causes and dimensions of democratization; Part Three looks at actors and institutions; and Part Four is concerned with regions of democratization such as Southern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia. Topics include the distinction between democratic and undemocratic states, the role of democratization in foreign policy, and the contributions of social movements, protest, and transnational advocacy networks to democratic transition. Key themes covered in this thoroughly revised and updated second edition include: theories of democratization; critical prerequisites and driving social forces of the transition to democracy; pivotal actors and institutions involved in democratization; conditions for democratic survival and the analysis of failed democratization; demonstrations of how these factors have played a role in the different regions in which the global wave of democratization transplaced authoritarian and communist systems; and possible futures of democratization worldwide.