European integration

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    Book Review: European Integration and the Problem of the State: A Critique of the Bordering of Europe by Stefan Borg

Book Review: European Integration and the Problem of the State: A Critique of the Bordering of Europe by Stefan Borg

What is the precise nature of the European Union? In European Integration and the Problem of the State: A Critique of the Bordering of Europe, Stefan Borg seeks to tackle this fundamental ontological question. Rather than position the EU as a unique form of political community, Borg argues that its practices of justification, legitimation and identification largely tally with those […]

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    Political integration has contributed to rising inequality in the Eurozone

Political integration has contributed to rising inequality in the Eurozone

What effect has European integration had on inequality? Tobias Tober writes that while from a theoretical standpoint both economic and political integration can be linked to inequality, there is a lack of conclusive evidence on the actual effect in practice. Based on a study of 14 EU member states from 1999 until 2010, he illustrates that although economic integration […]

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    Why European integration remains the best option for meeting the challenges posed by globalisation

Why European integration remains the best option for meeting the challenges posed by globalisation

Faced with a debt crisis in Greece and a refugee crisis on Europe’s borders, the European Union is currently navigating one of the most difficult periods in its history. But do these crises offer justification for scaling back European integration? Lukas Hakelberg and Zoe Lefkofridi write that more integration not only offers the most natural solution for resolving these […]

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    The crises in the Eurozone and Ukraine have heralded the ‘return of politics’ to European integration

The crises in the Eurozone and Ukraine have heralded the ‘return of politics’ to European integration

European integration has often been conceived of as a primarily technocratic project, aimed at realising broad mutually beneficial aims which are beyond the narrow interests existing at the level of national politics. Luuk van Middelaar writes that both the Eurozone crisis and the crisis in Ukraine have illustrated the flaws in this perspective and highlighted the fundamentally political nature […]

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    Why Europe’s crises in the Eurozone and Crimea are a boon for those who teach European integration

Why Europe’s crises in the Eurozone and Crimea are a boon for those who teach European integration

Europe has faced a series of crises in the last decade, most recently with the Eurozone crisis and the Russian intervention in Crimea. Andrew Glencross writes that while the practical implications of these crises can be worrying, they also provide opportunities for those responsible for teaching European integration to students. He argues that ultimately what EU crises teach us […]

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The UK’s opposition to the EU is driven by a lack of information and undirected hostility

The UK has always had a contentious relationship with the European Union. John McCormick argues that this relationship has been hampered by popular misunderstandings, driven by a lack of credible information and general hostility towards European integration. He suggests that more attention should be paid to the positive aspects of EU membership and that academics should contribute more to public […]

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The EU should abandon ‘soft power’ in Ukraine and adopt a new approach focused on geostrategic concerns

Ukraine’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union has been seen as a significant blow for the EU’s neighbourhood strategy. André Härtel writes that this failure stems from the EU’s misunderstanding of Ukrainian politics, its inability to act coherently on foreign policy, and its preoccupation with normative aims such as democratisation. He argues that the EU requires […]

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German party manifestos are increasingly likely to downplay European issues and reflect negative attitudes toward the EU

Although the 2013 German elections were viewed as having wider importance for the rest of Europe, the issue of Europe itself played only a minor role in the election campaign. Sonia Alonso outlines results from an analysis of German party manifestos to assess the extent to which parties have emphasised European issues in elections since 1949. She notes that there […]

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National politicians are more likely to base their EU policy on the interests of party followers and big business, rather than the electorate as a whole

The EU is frequently charged with lacking legitimacy, particularly in cases where national politicians make important decisions outside of national political frameworks in Brussels. David Sanders and Gabor Toka use a pair of identical surveys to highlight the EU preferences of ‘elites’ and national electorates. They argue that while citizens generally take their lead on EU issues from national leaders, […]

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The UK government’s review of EU competences offers valuable academic insights into both Britain and the EU

The British government’s ‘Review of the Balance of Competences’ into the European Union’s role in British life is surrounded by political tensions. Tim Oliver argues that beyond the controversy, the review also offers a unique insight into the operation of British government, the politics of the UK’s coalition government, UK-EU relations, and the evolution of the EU. Academics may well […]

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Non-Community spending is a little known, but important part of Europe’s financial resources

Following lengthy negotiations earlier this year, the EU’s member states eventually agreed on the content of the 2014-2020 EU budget. Amélie Barbier-Gauchard writes that in addition to the budget, the EU’s member states also fund a number of projects and initiatives through ‘non-Community European spending’. This form of public spending involves EU members co-operating outside of the EU’s institutions, often […]

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The work of J.S. Mill shows the danger in eliminating the differences between European nations

Simon Glendinning writes on the English philosopher John Stuart Mill’s views on Europe. He notes that Mill saw Britain as being very much a part of Europe, but that he also recognised important differences between European nations. Far from seeing these differences as a weakness, however, Mill viewed them as part of Europe’s strength. While some academics have called for […]

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The EU’s unwillingness to discuss the possibility of a ‘Brexit’ is playing into the hands of Eurosceptics

British Prime Minister David Cameron has made a commitment to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership, should his party win the next general election. Tim Oliver writes that while the possibility of a ‘Brexit’ has been much discussed in the UK context, across the rest of the EU the issue has largely been downplayed or avoided. He argues […]

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Europe should reject Jürgen Habermas’ vision of a federal European state and instead create an enduring association between sovereign nations.

What should the ultimate aim of European integration be? Simon Glendinning writes on the argument put forward by Jürgen Habermas in favour of creating a ‘supranational democracy’ in Europe, with a common European government. Taking issue with Habermas’ interpretation of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, he argues that the creation of a supranational democracy is not only unlikely, but conceptually flawed. […]

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Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, the European Union could still learn a lot from his words.

This week saw the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, which was marked at an event by US President Barack Obama. Rune Kier writes that while King’s speech still has a great deal of relevance for Americans; Europeans could also learn from it in the context of the Eurozone crisis. He argues that Europe lacks […]

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The UK’s proposed referendum on Europe would test British commitment to the European Union

How can European states test popular commitment to the European Union? Richard Rose assesses the use of referendums to gain consent from European citizens for the integration process. While three quarters of member states have held at least one referendum on Europe, the UK is notable for allowing major changes in the powers of government to be approved by a […]

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Euroscepticism is rooted in a broader authoritarian worldview that also includes higher levels of nationalism and hostility to ‘outsiders’.

What factors are likely to lead to citizens opposing European integration? Erik R. Tillman notes that a number of recent studies have attempted to explain opposition to the EU in terms of social identity. Drawing on these studies, he argues that those who oppose the EU are likely to subscribe to a particular ‘authoritarian’ worldview which includes a predisposition towards […]

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The rise of redistributive politics in the EU is setting limits on the completion of Economic and Monetary Union

One of the key areas of controversy in responses to the Eurozone crisis has been the notion of transferring financial resources from prosperous economies in the North to struggling economies in the South. Ramūnas Vilpišauskas argues that this issue has effectively put redistributive politics at the forefront of debates over the Eurozone crisis. One of the consequences of this development […]

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European integration constrains party competition in the member states

Kyriaki Nanou and Han Dorussen describe their research into the effects of European integration on electoral competition in the EU’s member states. Their analysis considers how parties have changed their positions over time in nine distinct policy domains with varying degrees of regulation at the European level. They find that the distance between party policy positions has decreased in those […]

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Five minutes with Michael Mann: “Globalisation has never been a singular process; it’s always been a multiple one”

How do we conceptualise processes of globalisation, and what impact does European integration have on nation states? As part of our on-going ‘Thinkers on Europe’ series, EUROPP’s editors spoke to Michael Mann about his view of globalisation, the effect of the European Union on European states, and the rise of the far-right in Europe. You’ve described globalisation as a ‘fractured […]

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