The Making of a Polity: The Struggle Over European Integration
European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Vol. 1, No. 4
29 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2002
The reorganization of European political economy since the mid 1980s has had to come to terms with two of the most fundamental issues of political life: the structuration of political authority and participation, and the scope of authoritative decision making in the economy. The European Union continues to serve as a means for achieving narrow collective goods, but these larger questions are never far from view. This paper argues that European political economy is being shaped by an intense debate which has mobilized leaders, political parties, interest groups, social movements and, on occasion, the wider public. This struggle is neither a random conflict of interests, nor a reflection of functional pressures. We hypothesize EU politics is structured along two dimensions: a left-right dimension ranging from social democracy to market liberalism; and a national-supranational dimension ranging from support for the restoration of national state autonomy to support for further European integration.
Keywords: European integration, polity building, political economy, legitimacy, political science Submit: Submit for Publication
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By Jan Beyers