Theoretical Approaches to the Study of the European Union

MA International Relations and European Studies

Autumn Term 2004/05

Lecturer: Uli Sedelmeier

Course Objectives

There are different ways to study the European Union (EU) and European integration. While some courses review the history of the EU, or the EU’s main institutions and policy areas, this course focuses on theoretical approaches that attempt to explain (aspects of) European integration and EU politics.

The main objectives of this course are to develop an appreciation of the role of theory in the study of EU politics, and an advanced understanding of pertinent theoretical approaches to the EU. The first section of the course will provide a background and introduction to the EU and the role of theory in political analysis. In the second part of the course we will examine classical approaches to European integration, namely neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism and interdependence theory. The third section of the course will consider contemporary theoretical approaches - including liberal intergovernmentalism and multi-level governance. The fourth section examines how the recent ‘sociological turn’ in Comparative Politics and International Relations has led to the application of new institutionalist and constructivist approaches in EU studies.

Throughout the course we will assess how developments in the theoretical debates within the broader discipline of Political Science (both from International Relations and from Comparative Politics) have shaped ways of conceptualising the EU. By the end of the course, you should be able to: (i) identify the theoretical assumptions that underpin certain statements about or analyses of the EU; (ii) identify pertinent theoretical puzzles that particular observations about the EU might pose; (iii) use theoretical debates to frame and structure arguments about the EU; and (iv) relate theories and debates about the EU to broader theoretical debates in International Relations and Comparative Politics.

Course Requirements

NB: The requirements might be adapted, depending on the number of participants

  1. Seminar participation (10%)
    You are expected to attend each seminar and regularly participate in discussions. I will grade participation as follows: attendance (but no participation) will receive a C+; good faith efforts at participation will get you into the B/B+ range; valuable contributions will get you into the B+/A range. If you miss more than two classes unexcused or without a doctor’s not to confirm illness, participation will be graded ‘F’.
  2. Seminar Presentation (20%)
    One seminar presentation is required in which you give an in-depth presentation of the subject of a seminar Consult with me about the expectations for the presentation, which will go beyond the required reading. The ‘further reading’ is an indication of useful literature. You should also prepare a short (1-2 pages) handout for the presentation. Presentations will be assigned during Week 1.
  3. Written summaries of required reading (10%)
    For each seminar, you have to provide a brief summary of the main points and arguments of each text that forms the required reading of the seminar. The summaries have to be submitted before the seminar (not at the seminar).
  4. Mid-Term Exam (20%)
    The mid-term exam is a in-class exam that will test your understanding of the theoretical approaches and concepts examined in the first half of the course.
  5. Term Paper (40%)
    The final term paper will apply theoretical approaches to a particular policy topic or event. Papers should be approximately 4000 words in length. You should consult with me about your topics.

 

Course Outline: Overview

Week 0 (21 September):        General Introduction
Seminar 1 (28 September):    An Introduction to the European Union
Seminar 2 (28 September):    Introduction to EU Institutions and Policy-Making
Seminar 3 (30 September):    Ranking Game: Statements on the EU
Seminar 4 (30 September):    Theory and EU Integration
Seminar 5 (12 October):        Neo-functionalism
Seminar 6 (14 October):        Intergovernmentalism
Seminar 7 (19 October):        Interdependence and Neo-liberal Institutionalism
Seminar 8 (21 October):        The EU’s Political System: International Relations or Comparative Politics?
Seminar 9 (26 October):        Bureaucratic Politics
Seminar 10 (28 October):      Role Play: Bureaucratic Politics in an International Crisis Situation
Seminar 11 (2 November):    Two-Level Games
Seminar 12 (4 November):    Liberal Intergovernmentalism
Seminar 13 (9 November):    Mid-term Exam
Seminar 14 (11 November):  Multi-level Governance
Seminar 15 (16 November):  New Institutionalism in Comparative Politics
Seminar 16 (18 November):  Social Constructivism in International Relations
Seminar 17 (23 November):  Rationalism, Ideas and Learning
Seminar 18 (25 November):  Rational Choice and Historical Institutionalism in EU Studies
Seminar 19 (30 November):  Constructivism in European Studies
Seminar 20 (2 December):    Policy Paradigms and Policy Networks in the EU
Seminar 21 (7 December):    Beyond Rationalism vs. Constructivism in EU Studies?
Seminar 22 (9 December):    Studying ‘Europeanisation’
Seminar 23 (14 December):  Discussion
Seminar 24 (16 December):  Conclusions

 

Course Outline and Readings

Week 0 (21 September): General Introduction


Seminar 1
(28 September): An Introduction to the European Union

Background reading:

Desmond Dinan (2004): Europe Recast: A History of European Union (Palgrave).

Neill Nugent (1999): The Government and Politics of the European Union 4th ed. (Macmillan); chapters 1-5.

Elizabeth Bomberg and Alexander Stubb (ed.) (2003) The European Union: How Does it Work? (Oxford University Press), chapter 2.

 

Seminar 2 (28 September): Introduction to EU Institutions and Policy-Making

Background reading:

Helen Wallace and William Wallace (eds.) (2000): Policy-Making in the European Union 4th edition (Oxford University Press), chapters 1, 2.

John Peterson and Elizabeth Bomberg (1999): Decision-Making in the European Union (Macmillan), chapter 2.

Elizabeth Bomberg and Alexander Stubb (ed.) (2003) The European Union: How Does it Work? (Oxford University Press), chapters 3, 6, 7.

Michelle Cini (ed.) (2003) European Union Politics (Oxford University Press), chapters 9-12.

Neill Nugent (1999): The Government and Politics of the European Union 4th ed. (Macmillan); chapters 6-11. 


Seminar 3
(30 September): Ranking Game: Statements on the EU


Seminar 4
(30 September): Theory and EU Integration

Ben Rosamond (2000): Introduction, in Theories of European Integration (London: Macmillan), 1-19.

Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) (2004): Introducing the Mosaic of Integration Theory, in European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 1-21.

Background reading:

Elizabeth Bomberg and Alexander Stubb (ed.) (2003) The European Union: How Does it Work? (Oxford University Press), 3-18.

 

Seminar 5 (12 October): Neo-functionalism

Ben Rosamond (2000): Neofunctionalism, chapter 3 in Theories of European Integration (London: Macmillan), 50-73.

Further reading:

Philippe Schmitter (2004): Neo-Neofunctionalism, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 45-74.

Haas, Ernst B. (1957): The Uniting of Europe: Political, Social, and Economic Forces, 1950-1957 (Stanford University Press). [esp. chapter 8: The Expansive Logic of Sector Integration, pp. 283-317; and pp. 520-527.]

Haas, Ernst B. (1968): Author’s Preface to 1968 edition of The Uniting of Europe, pp. xi-xxx.

Haas, Ernst B. (1976): Turbulent Fields and the Theory of Regional Integration, International Organization, 30:2, pp. 172-212.

Lindberg, Leon N. and Stuart A. Scheingold (1970): Europe's Would-Be Polity: Patterns of Change in the European Community (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall). [esp. chapters 1, 3, 9]

Sandholtz, W. and Zysman, J. (1989): Recasting the European Bargain’, World Politics 42, 95-128.

Burley, A. and Mattli, W. (1993): Europe Before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration’, International Organization 47:2, 41-76.

 

Seminar 6 (14 October): Intergovernmentalism

Ben Rosamond (2000) Chapter 4: Backlash, Critique and Contemplation, Theories of European Integration, 74-81; Chapter 6: Intergovernmental Europe?, 130-5.

Further reading:

Webb, Carole (1983): Theoretical Perspectives and Problems, in Wallace/Wallace/Webb (eds.) Policy-Making in the European Community, 2nd ed. (Chichester: Wiley), 1-41.

Hoffmann, Stanley (1966): Obstinate or Obsolete: the Fate of the Nation State and the Case of Western Europe, Daedalus, 95: 2, 862-915.

Milward, Alan. 2000. Chapter 1: History and Theory, in The European Rescue of the Nation-State, 2nd Edition. Routledge: 1-20.

Grieco, Joseph (1995): The Maastricht Treaty, Economic and Monetary Union and the Neorealist Research Program, Review of International Studies, 21, 21-41.

Pedersen, Thomas (1998): Germany, France and the Integration of Europe. A Realist Interpretation (London: Pinter), chapter 11.

 

Seminar 7 (19 October): Interdependence and Neo-liberal Institutionalism

Keohane, Robert O. and Nye, Joseph (1977) Chapter 2: Realism and Complex Interdependence, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little and Brown), 23-37.

Further reading:

Webb, Carole. 1983. Theoretical Perspectives and Problems, in Helen Wallace; William Wallace and Carole Webb, eds. Policy-Making in the European Community, 2nd ed. Wiley: 1-41.

Keohane, Robert O. and Nye, Joseph (1977): Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little and Brown) chapter 1: Interdependence in World Politics, pp. 3-22.

Keohane, Robert O. (1989): International Institutions and State Power (Boulder: Westview), chapter 1: Neoliberal Institutionalism: A Perspective on World Politics, pp. 1-20.

Krasner, Stephen (1983): Regimes and the Limits of Realism: Regimes as Intervening Variables, in Krasner, Stephen (ed.): International Regimes (Cornell University Press), pp. 355-368. (on international regimes)

Nye, Joseph S. and Robert O. Keohane (1972): Transnational Relations and World Politics: An Introduction, in Keohane and Nye(eds.): Transnational Relations and World Politics (Harvard University Press) , pp. ix-xxix.

 

Seminar 8 (21 October): The EU’s Political System: International Relations or Comparative Politics?

Hix, Simon (1994): The Study of the European Community: The Challenge to Comparative Politics, West European Politics, 17:1, 1-30.

Hurrell, Andrew, and Anand Menon (1996): Politics Like Any Other? Comparative Politics, International Relations and the Study of the EU, West European Politics, 19:2, 386-402.

Further reading:

Hix, Simon (1996): CP, IR and the EU! A rejoinder to Hurell and Menon, West European Politics, 19:4, 802-04.

Hix, Simon (1999) The Political System of the European Union, chapter 1: Introduction: Explaining the EU Political System, 1-17.

Wallace, William (1983): Less than a Federation, More than a Regime: the Community as a Political System, in Wallace, Wallace, Webb (eds.): Policy Making in the European Community, 2nd edition, 403-36.

Sbragia, Alberta (1992) Thinking about the European Future: the Uses of Comparison, in Alberta Sbragia (ed.) Euro-Politics: Institutions and Policymaking in the ‘New’ European Community (Washington DC: Brookings Institution).

Rosamond, Ben (2000) Theories of European Integration (Basingstoke: Macmillan), 157-66; 179-85


Seminar 9 (26 October): Bureaucratic Politics

Allison, Graham (1969): Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis, American Political Science Review, 63:3, 689-718.

Further reading:

Wright, Vincent (1996): The National Co-ordination of European Policy-Making: Negotiating the Quagmire, in Jeremy Richardson (ed.): European Union. Power and Policy-Making (London: Routledge), 148-69.

Spence, David (1995): The Co-ordination of European Policy by Member States, in Martin Westlake (ed.) (1995): The Council of the European Union (London: Cartermill), 353-72.

Spence, David (1994): Structure, Functions and Procedures in the Commission, in Geoffrey Edwards and David Spence (eds.) The European Commission (Harlow: Longman), 97-116.

Peters, Guy (1992): Bureaucratic Politics and the Institutions of the European Community, in Alberta Sbragia (ed.): Euro-Politics: Institutions and Policymaking in the ‘New’ European Community (Washington: Brookings), 75-122.

Bulmer, Simon (1983): Domestic Politics and EC Policy Making, Journal of Common Market Studies, 21:4, 349-63.

 

Seminar 10 (28 October): Role Play: Bureaucratic Politics in International Crises

 

Seminar 11 (2 November): Two-Level Games

Putnam, Robert D. (1988): Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two Level Games, International Organization, 42:3, 427-60.

Further reading (applications to the EU):

Patterson, Lee Ann (1997): Agricultural Policy Reform in the European Community: A Three-Level Game Analysis, International Organization, 51:1, 135-65.

Paarlberg, Robert (1997): Agricultural Policy Reform and the Uruguay Round: Synergistic Linkage in a Two-Level Game?, International Organization, 51:3, 413-44.

 

Seminar 12 (4 November): Liberal Intergovernmentalism

Moravcsik, Andrew (1993): Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach, Journal of Common Market Studies, 31:4, 473-524.

Further reading:

Schimmelfennig, Frank (2004): Liberal Intergovernmentalism, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 75-94.

Moravcsik, Andrew (1998): The Choice for Europe. Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht (Cornell University Press).

Moravcsik, Andrew (1991): Negotiating the Single European Act: National Interests and Conventional Statecraft in the European Community, International Organization, 45:1, 19-56.

‘Review section symposium’: The Choice for Europe’ (1999) Journal of European Public Policy, 6:1, 155-79.

 

Seminar 13 (9 November): Mid-term Exam

 

Seminar 14 (11 November): Multi-level Governance

Marks, Gary; Liesbet Hooghe and K. Blank (1996): European Integration from the 1980s: State-Centric v. Multi-Level Governance, Journal of Common Market Studies, 34:3, 341-78.

Further reading:

Jachtenfuchs, Markus (2001) ‘The Governance Approach to European Integration’, Journal of Common Market Studies 39(2): 245-64.

Jachtenfuchs, Markus and Beate Kohler-Koch (2004): Governance and Institutional Development, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 97-115.

Eising, Rainer and Kohler-Koch, Beate (1998) (eds.) The Transformation of Governance in the European Union (Routledge), chapters 1 and 2.

Scharpf, Fritz W. (1994): Community and Autonomy: Multi-level Policy Making in the European Union, Journal of European Public Policy, 1:2, 219-42.

 

Seminar 15 (16 November): New Institutionalism in Comparative Politics

Hall, Peter and Rosemary Taylor (1996): Political Science and the three New Institutionalisms, Political Studies, 44:5, 936-57.

Further reading:

Thelen, Kathleen and Sven Steinmo (1992): Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Politics, in Steinmo, Sven; Kathleen Thelen, and Frank Longstreth (eds.): Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1-32.

March, James and Johan P. Olsen (1989): Rediscovering Institutions: the Organizational Basis of Politics (New York: Free Press). (especially chapter 9).

DiMaggio, Paul J. and Walter W. Powell (1991): Introduction, in Powell, Walter W. and Paul J. DiMaggio (eds.) (1991): The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 1-38.

 

Seminar 16 (18 November): Social Constructivism in International Relations

Jepperson, Ronald, Alexander Wendt, and Peter Katzenstein (1996): Norms, Identity, and Culture in National Security, Katzenstein, Peter (ed.): The Culture of National Security. Norms and Identity in World Politics (Columbia University Press), 33-75.

Further reading:

Checkel, Jeffrey (1998): The Constructivist Turn in International Relations Theory (Review Article), World Politics, 50: 2, 324-48.

Adler, E. (1997): Seizing the Middle Ground: Constructivism in World Politics, European Journal of International Relations 3:3, 319-63.

Adler, E. (2002): Constructivism and International Relations, in W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse and B. Simmons (eds): Handbook of International Relations, 95-118.

Katzenstein, Peter; Robert Keohane, and Stephen Krasner (1998): International Organization and the Study of World Politics, International Organization 52:4,. 645-85).

Wendt, Alexander (1999): Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge University Press).

 

Seminar 17 (23 November): Rationalism, Ideas and Learning

Goldstein, Judith and Robert Keohane (1993): Ideas and Foreign Policy: An Analytical Framework, in Judith Goldstein and Robert Keohane (eds): Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change (Cornell University Press), 3-30.

Further reading:

Hall, P. (1993), Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State. The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain, Comparative Politics, 25: 3, 275-96.

Adler, E. and P. Haas (1992) Conclusion: Epistemic Communities, World Order, and the Creation of a Reflective Research Program, International Organization, 46:1, 367-90.

Sabatier, Paul A. (1988), An Advocacy Coalition Framework of Policy Change and the Role of Policy-oriented Learning therein, Policy Sciences, 21, 129-68.

Radaelli, C. (1995) The Role of Knowledge in the Policy Process, Journal of European Public Policy, 2:2, 159-83.

 
Seminar 18
(25 November): Rational Choice and Historical Institutionalism in EU Studies

Pierson, Paul (1996): The Path to European Integration: A Historical Institutionalist Perspective, Comparative Political Studies, 29:2, 123-63.

Further reading:

Pollack, Mark (2004): The New Institutionalisms and European Integration, in in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 137-56.

Jupille, Joseph and James A. Caporaso (1999): Institutionalism and the European Union: Beyond International Relations and Comparative Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, 2, 429-44.

Aspinwall, Mark and Gerald Schneider (eds.) (2001): The Rules of Integration: Institutionalist Approaches to the Study of Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press).

Pollack, Mark (1998): The Engines of Integration? Supranational Autonomy and Influence in the European Union, in Sandholtz, Wayne and Stone Sweet, Alec (eds) European Integration and Supranational Governance (Oxford University Press), 217-49

Scharpf, Fritz (1988): The Joint Decision-Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European Integration, Public Administration, 66:3, 239-78.

Meunier, Sophie (2000): What Single Voice? European Institutions and EU-U.S. Trade Negotiations, International Organization 54:1, 103-35.

 

Seminar 19 (30 November): Constructivism in European Studies

Checkel, Jeffrey (1998): Social Construction and Integration, Journal of European Public Policy, 6:4, 545-60.

Risse, Thomas (2004): Social Constructivism and European Integration, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 159-75.

Further reading:

Christiansen, Thomas; Knud Erik Jørgensen, and Antje Wiener (eds.) (2001): The Social Construction of Europe (Sage).

Jørgensen, Knud Erik (ed.) (1997): Reflective Approaches to European Governance (Macmillan).

Lewis, Jeffrey (1998): Is the ‘Hard Bargaining’ Image of the Council Misleading? The Committee of Permanent Representatives and the Local Elections Directive, Journal of Common Market Studies, 36(4): 479-504.

Smith, M.E. (2004) Institutionalization, Policy Adaptation and European Foreign Policy Cooperation, European Journal of International Relations, 10:1, 95-136.

Risse, T. et al. (1999) To Euro or Not to Euro. The EMU and Identity Politics in the European Union, European Journal of International Relations, 5:2, 147-87.

 

Seminar 20 (2 December): Policy Paradigms and Policy Networks in the EU

Kohler-Koch, Beate (2000): Framing: The Bottleneck of Constructing Legitimate Institutions, Journal of European Public Policy, 7:4, 513-31.

Further Reading:

John Peterson (2004) Policy Networks, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds) European Integration Theory (Oxford University Press), 117-35.

Sabatier, Paul (1997), The advocacy coalition framework: revisions and relevance for Europe, Journal of European Public Policy, 5:1, 98-130.

Lenschow, Andrea and Tony Zito (1998): Blurring or Shifting Policy Frames? Institutionalization of the Economic-Environmental Policy Linkage in the European Community, Governance, 11:4, 415-41.

Skogstad, Grace (1998): Ideas, Paradigms and Institutions: Agricultural Exceptionalism in the European Union and the United States, Governance, 11:4, 463-490.

Dudley, G. and J. Richardson (1999), ‘Competing Advocacy Coalitions and the Process of "Frame Reflection": a Longitudinal Analysis of EU Steel Policy’, Journal of European Public Policy, 6:2, 225-48.

 

Seminar 21 (7 December): Beyond Rationalism vs. Constructivism in EU Studies?

Pollack, Mark (2001): International Relations Theory and European Integration, Journal of Common Market Studies, 39(2): 221-244.

Further Reading:

Jupille, J., J. Caporaso and J. Checkel (2003), ‘Integrating Institutions: Rationalism, Constructivism, and the Study of the European Union’, Comparative Political Studies 36:1/2, 7-41.

Checkel, Jeffrey and Andrew Moravcsik (2001): A Constructivist Research Programme in EU Studies?, European Union Politics 2(2): 219-249.

Smith, Steve (1999): Social Constructivism and European Studies: A Reflectivist Critique, Journal of European Public Policy, 6:4; pp. 682-691.

Schimmelfennig, Frank (2001): ‘The Community Trap: Liberal Norms, Rhetorical Action, and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union’, International Organization 55:1, 47-80.

 

Seminar 22 (9 December): Studying ‘Europeanisation’

Thomas Risse, Maria Green Cowles and James Caporaso (2001): Europeanization and Domestic Change: Introduction, in Risse, Cowles and Caporaso (eds): Transforming Europe: Europeanization and Domestic Change (Cornell University Press), 1-20.

Further Reading:

Tanja Borzel and Thomas Risse (2003): Conceptualizing the Domestic Impact of Europe, in Featherston and Radaelli (eds) The Politics of Europeanization (Oxford University Press), 57-80.

Claudio Radaelli (2003): The Europeanization of Public Policy, in Featherston and Radaelli (eds) The Politics of Europeanization (Oxford University Press), 27-56.

Kevin Featherston (2003): Introduction: In the Name of Europe, in Featherston and Radaelli (eds) The Politics of Europeanization (Oxford University Press), 3-26.

Christoph Knill and Andrea Lenschow (2001): Adjusting to EU Environmental Policy: Change and Persistence of Domestic Administrations, in Risse, Cowles and Caporaso (eds): Transforming Europe: Europeanization and Domestic Change (Cornell University Press), 116-36.

 

Seminar 23 (14 December): Discussion

 

Seminar 24 (16 December): Conclusions

 

 Uli Sedelmeier; created 18 September 2004, last modified 10-11-04
http://www.personal.ceu.hu/staff/Ulrich_Sedelmeier/eu_theo.html