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.
Thomas Diez and Antje Wiener
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.
This chapter takes stock of the third edition of European Integration Theory in three steps. First, it offers a comparative perspective on the distinct contributions to the mosaic of integration presented by each chapter. The assessment is framed by three sea-faring metaphors of European integration, and details the insights derived by each of the book’s contributions from addressing the kind of polity, politics, and policy based on the three types of crises (i.e. economic, refugee, and security). Second, the chapter addresses the absence of security crises in the book’s contributions. To reverse that absence, it distinguishes the impact of integration along a horizontal regional comparative dimension and a vertical normative dimension. The former builds on insights from regional integration, the latter connects normative crises in EU sub-units with global conflicts. And third, the chapter addresses the question of how integration theory fares sixty years on from the Treaty of Rome, and points out potential issues and themes for the future of European integration theory.