The key thinkers represented in this volume stress that in order to understand integration beyond the nation state, we need new explanatory categories associated with deliberation because a supranational entity as the EU posesses far weaker and less well-developed means of coercion - bargaining resources - than do states. The most appropriate term to denote this is the notion of 'deliberative supranationalism'. This pioneering work, headed by major writers such as Habermas, Schlesinger and Bellamy, brings a new perspective to this key issue in contemporary politics and political theory.
Why did the European Union experience a stark variation in the levels of conflict between the late 1970s, when budgetary disputes dominated European politics, and the 1990s, when political actors were able to settle upon budgetary agreements without major conflicts?
This book responds to this key question with a two-step argument: Its first part shows that decision-making rules can be regarded as a key determinant of the level of conflict in EU budgetary politics. It details far-reaching reform in 1988 reduced conflict, because it introduced an institutional setting for multiannual budget planning that corrected the deficiencies of the original budget treaty. Having identified institutional change as the trigger for the reduction of conflict, the second part of this study focuses on the 1988 reform. It shows how a number of ‘reproduction mechanisms’ prevented major institutional change in the 1970s and early 1980s. When these ‘reproduction mechanisms’ lost force, a reform became possible and a new institutional setting emerged in 1988.
These findings deliver a sharp insight into the interplay between rules and conflict in the still evolving political system of the EU. Moreover, by identifying precise conditions for the occurrence of institutional change, and by linking political performance of institutions to their stability this is a significant contribution to institutionalist research in social science.
This book is an excellent resource for students and scholars of the European Union, Political Science, International Relations, Public Policy and Public Finance.
The Europeanization of National Political Parties is the first empirical study to examine the effects of the European Union on the internal organizational dynamics of national political parties. It draws on the results of a major, cross-national project and is based on documentary analysis and some 150 interviews with senior party actors in six EU member states: Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
Situated in the context of the debate on Europeanization, the contributors illustrate that national political parties have been surprisingly well equipped to handle the challenges of the increasing importance of multi-level governance in Europe. Following a rigorous analytical framework, the country studies examine thirty relevant political parties and systematically address a clearly defined set of empirical questions. The volume ends with two comparative chapters that analyze the findings from a cross-national perspective and that offer theoretical insights into the problems of party government amid increasing European integration.
This text will appeal to all those researching in the fields of European studies, political science and comparative politics.
Taking a diagnosis and cure approach to the EU's difficulties, Simon Hix tackles these problems with distinct clarity and open-mindedness. What the EU needs, Hix contends, is more open political competition. This would promote policy innovation, foster coalitions across the institutions, provide incentives for the media to cover developments in Brussels, and enable citizens to identify who governs in the EU and to take sides in policy debates. The EU is ready for this new challenge. The institutional reforms since the 1980s have transformed the EU into a more competitive polity, and political battles and coalitions are developing inside and between the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission.
This emerging politics should be more central to the Brussels policy process, with clearer coalitions and identifiable winners and losers, at least in the short term. The risks are low because the EU has multiple checks-and-balances. Yet, the potential benefits are high, as more open politics could enable the EU to overcome policy gridlock, rebuild public support, and reduce the democratic deficit. This indispensable book will be of great interest to students of the European politics, scholars, policy makers and anyone concerned with the future of the European Union.