Articles by Author

  • lreg-2010-1  (Revision)
    From the outset, European integration was about the transfer of powers from the national to the European level, which evolved as explicit bargaining among governments or as an incremental drift. This process was reframed with the competence issue entering the agenda of constitutional policy. It now concerns the shape of the European multilevel polity as a whole, in particular the way in which powers are allocated, delimited and linked between the different levels. This Living Review article summarises research on the relations between the EU and the national and sub-national levels of the member states, in particular on the evolution and division of competences in a multilevel political system. It provides an overview on normative reasonings on an appropriate allocation of competences, empirical theories explaining effective structures of powers and empirical research. The article is structured as follows: First, normative theories of a European federation are discussed. Section 2 deals with legal and political concepts of federalism and presents approaches of the economic theory of federalism in the context of the European polity. These normative considerations conclude with a discussion of the subsidiarity principle and the constitutional allocation of competences in the European Treaties. Section 3 covers the empirical issue of how to explain the actual allocation of competences (scope and type) between levels. Integration theories are presented here in so far as they explain the transfer of competence from the national to the European level or the limits of this centralistic dynamics. Normative and empirical theories indeed provide some general guidelines for evaluation and explanations of the evolution of competences in the EU, but they both contradict the assumption of a separation of power. The article therefore concludes that politics and policy-making in the EU have to be regarded as multilevel governance (Section 4). The main theoretical approaches and results from empirical research on European multilevel governance are summarised before we sketch suggestions for further discussion and research in the field (Section 5).
  • lreg-2007-3  (Revision)
    This Living Review takes stock of our current theoretical and empirical knowledge with respect to a European public sphere. It first provides a discussion of the notion of a public sphere and the virtual incompatibility between the notion of a public sphere in the nation state and the current state of European integration. It is then argued why a notion of a (Europeanized national) public space for debate between citizens and with power-holders is important for the legitimacy and accountability of the EU. A three-fold typology is proposed that organizes previous research on the European public sphere: the Utopian, the Elitist and the Realist perspective. The diverging conclusions stemming from extant research are reviewed in the light of the methodological pluralism in the studies. It is demonstrated that most signs of Europeanization of national public spheres stem from studies focusing on the quality broadsheet press, whereas studies focusing on the popular press, television and new media provide little evidence (yet) of a Europeanization trend. The review looks ahead in both theoretical and methodological terms and also assesses the consequences of the (absence of) a European public sphere and current policy initiatives in this area.
  • lreg-2008-4
    There is a plethora of studies on interest groups in the European Union. While these studies have generated a wealth of insights, it is not actually clear what they have accomplished. This Living Review seeks to identify those areas of interest group studies in which our knowledge is fairly consolidated and in which major research gaps or major controversies can be noted. I argue that these research gaps and controversies stem from both the empirical variance in the interest group landscape and the theoretical segmentation of EU interest group studies. These have been shaped by influences from Comparative Politics, International Relations, Policy Analysis, and Democratic Theory. I suggest that future research should engage to a greater extent in cross-cutting theoretical debates in order to overcome the pronounced demarcation of research areas and in more rigorous theory testing than has sometimes been the case. The article starts by discussing the problem of conceptualizing interest groups before moving on to the fissured theoretical landscape. Thereafter, major research themes are discussed. First, I review the relation between EU institutions and interest groups. Here, I look both into multilevel governance and Europeanization studies that focus on the vertical interaction and into analyses that stress the horizontal segmentation of the EU system in different institutions and sectors. Second, I analyze core themes of EU and comparative interest group studies, namely the issue of collective action, the access of interest groups to policy-makers and their influence on EU policymaking.
  • lreg-2008-2
    This article reviews the by now extensive literature on the Europeanisation of the political systems of the EU-15, with an emphasis on parliaments and executives (i.e., governments and ministerial administrations). The Living Review highlights apparently contradictory effects of integration: de-parlamentarisation re-parlamentarisation; bureaucratisation politicisation; and centralisation diffusion. These diverging assessments of the effects of integration do, in part, reflect diversity in the EU-15; in part, they are, however, also a result of differences in the specification of variables, research designs and theoretical approaches. Work that inquires into patterns of Europeanisation - across institutional domains, countries, regions and time - and which seeks to tackle the `methodological nationalism' of the Europeanisation literature promises a clearer picture of the institutional consequences of European integration than we possess at present.
  • lreg-2012-2
    For the longest time, the participation of civil society has not been an area of interest for neither EU researchers nor political decision-makers. This changed with a rising interest in the democratic credentials of the European Union. With the end of the initial permissive consensus on EU integration, civil society emerged as a possible remedy to bridge the gap between supranational governance and citizens. This Living Review presents the two dominant analytical perspectives on civil society participation: the notion of civil society as organized actors that contribute actively to multilevel governance, and civil society as the mold for an emerging European public sphere. Both these conceptual views are reflected in hands-on initiatives on the EU level. On the one hand, the European Commission in particular promotes the inclusion of organized societal interests in the informal decision-making procedures. On the other hand, various forms of deliberative practices have been introduced that build on the encompassing notion of constituting a trans-European public sphere. The review offers a comprehensive overview on the multiple definitions of civil society and the distinct role attributions these coexisting conceptions imply. The contribution draws a number of critical conclusions on the actual outcomes that the active promotion of civil society participation has thus achieved, and questions whether civil society participation has indeed led to a more grounded legitimacy of EU decisions or a more settled European public sphere.
  • lreg-2013-1
    This Living Review presents an overview of the research on European identity in the context of EU governance by focusing on central debates in the political science literature. It departs from the problems of disagreement between European citizens and their elites as well as the lack of a European demos. Against this background, the article discusses the functions of collective identity including the legitimation function and solution of collective dilemmas. Here, two perspectives pertaining to these functions are depicted: first, the issue of European public space and second, the integrative workings of European citizenship. Next, the article explores the conceptual and methodological problems of the research on European collective identity. In particular, it focuses on the conceptual ambiguity of the collective identity term, causes of confusion in European identity research and problems of operationalization and measurement. Following this, the article discusses the literature on identity technologies of the EU and identifies the shortcomings of identity technologies with regard to EU governance.
  • lreg-2009-1  (Revision)
    This Living Review makes the case for the study of Europeanization and political parties as related but distinct from the study of political parties and European integration. It then presents the Europeanization approach to parties, noting that some of the components in this approach developed to study policy and institutional change may not lend themselves so well to the study of national parties. This argument distinguishes between direct and indirect effects of European Union influence on parties. Next, it briefly discusses the application of party Europeanization research to post-communist parties. This is followed by a discussion of proposed normative consequences of party Europeanization. Finally, suggestions for further research focus on the need for refining the analytic framework in order to better identify the causal mechanisms specific to party Europeanization.
  • lreg-2010-3
    This Living Review uses concepts of aggregation to analyse what we do and do not know about the contribution of political parties to the politics and democratic performance of the European Union. It suggests that present representative structures are better at aggregating ‘choices of policies’ than ‘choices of leaders’. Much more, however, needs to be done to analyse the causal contribution of party actors to those patterns of aggregation, and to understand why European Union parties do not develop further where aggregation seems to be deficient in the EU arena.
  • lreg-2011-2  (Revision)
    Since its inception, the European Union has stimulated many vigorous debates. This Living Review provides a state of the field perspective on the academic work that has been done to address the question of the perceptions of the European Union as a system of governance. It takes a broad scope in assessing the efforts of scholars and highlights significant theoretical and empirical contributions as well as identifying potential avenues for research. In order to understand perceptions of the EU, scholars have employed national-level frameworks of popular support, particularly partisanship and instrumental self-interest. As the number of members has increased, further research has taken a broader scope to include national identity, institutions, and attitudes regarding the normative and empirical function of both national and EU institutions. Additional works address political intermediaries such as parties, media, and elites. Finally, all of the works are fundamentally concerned with the supportive popular sentiment that underpins the EU’s legitimacy as a political institution. While there are far more works that can be practically included in this review, we have attempted to construct an overview based on the dimensions that define this research as set out by significant contributions at the core of this literature.
  • lreg-2010-4
    The decision to establish direct elections to the European Parliament was intended by many to establish a direct link between the individual citizen and decision making at the European level. Elections were meant to help to establish a common identity among the peoples of Europe, to legitimise policy through the normal electoral processes and provide a public space within which Europeans could exert a more direct control over their collective future. Critics disagreed, arguing that direct elections to the European Parliament would further undermine the sovereignty of member states, and may not deliver on the promise that so many were making on behalf of that process. In particular, some wondered whether elections alone could mobilise European publics to take a much greater interest in European matters, with the possibility of European elections being contested simply on national matters. Evaluating these divergent views, the subject of this article is to review the literature on direct elections to the European Parliament in the context of the role these elections play in governance of the European Union. The seminal work by Reif and Schmitt serves as the starting point of our review. These authors were the first to discuss elections to the European Parliament as second-order national elections. Results of second-order elections are influenced not only by second-order factors, but also by the situation in the first-order arena at the time of the second-order election. In the 30 years and six more sets of European Parliament elections since the publication of their work, the concept has become the dominant one in any academic discussion of European elections. In this article we review that work in order to assess the continuing value of the second-order national election concept today, and to consider some of the more fruitful areas for research which might build on the advance made by Reif and Schmitt. While the concept has proven useful in studies of a range of elections beyond just those for the European Parliament, including those for regional and local assemblies as well as referendums, this review will concentrate solely on EP elections. Concluding that Reif and Schmitt’s characterisation remains broadly valid today, the article allows that while this does not mean there is necessarily a democratic deficit within the EU, there may be changes that could be made to encourage a more effective electoral process.
  • lreg-2008-2
    This article reviews the by now extensive literature on the Europeanisation of the political systems of the EU-15, with an emphasis on parliaments and executives (i.e., governments and ministerial administrations). The Living Review highlights apparently contradictory effects of integration: de-parlamentarisation re-parlamentarisation; bureaucratisation politicisation; and centralisation diffusion. These diverging assessments of the effects of integration do, in part, reflect diversity in the EU-15; in part, they are, however, also a result of differences in the specification of variables, research designs and theoretical approaches. Work that inquires into patterns of Europeanisation - across institutional domains, countries, regions and time - and which seeks to tackle the `methodological nationalism' of the Europeanisation literature promises a clearer picture of the institutional consequences of European integration than we possess at present.
  • lreg-2010-4
    The decision to establish direct elections to the European Parliament was intended by many to establish a direct link between the individual citizen and decision making at the European level. Elections were meant to help to establish a common identity among the peoples of Europe, to legitimise policy through the normal electoral processes and provide a public space within which Europeans could exert a more direct control over their collective future. Critics disagreed, arguing that direct elections to the European Parliament would further undermine the sovereignty of member states, and may not deliver on the promise that so many were making on behalf of that process. In particular, some wondered whether elections alone could mobilise European publics to take a much greater interest in European matters, with the possibility of European elections being contested simply on national matters. Evaluating these divergent views, the subject of this article is to review the literature on direct elections to the European Parliament in the context of the role these elections play in governance of the European Union. The seminal work by Reif and Schmitt serves as the starting point of our review. These authors were the first to discuss elections to the European Parliament as second-order national elections. Results of second-order elections are influenced not only by second-order factors, but also by the situation in the first-order arena at the time of the second-order election. In the 30 years and six more sets of European Parliament elections since the publication of their work, the concept has become the dominant one in any academic discussion of European elections. In this article we review that work in order to assess the continuing value of the second-order national election concept today, and to consider some of the more fruitful areas for research which might build on the advance made by Reif and Schmitt. While the concept has proven useful in studies of a range of elections beyond just those for the European Parliament, including those for regional and local assemblies as well as referendums, this review will concentrate solely on EP elections. Concluding that Reif and Schmitt’s characterisation remains broadly valid today, the article allows that while this does not mean there is necessarily a democratic deficit within the EU, there may be changes that could be made to encourage a more effective electoral process.
  • lreg-2011-2  (Revision)
    Since its inception, the European Union has stimulated many vigorous debates. This Living Review provides a state of the field perspective on the academic work that has been done to address the question of the perceptions of the European Union as a system of governance. It takes a broad scope in assessing the efforts of scholars and highlights significant theoretical and empirical contributions as well as identifying potential avenues for research. In order to understand perceptions of the EU, scholars have employed national-level frameworks of popular support, particularly partisanship and instrumental self-interest. As the number of members has increased, further research has taken a broader scope to include national identity, institutions, and attitudes regarding the normative and empirical function of both national and EU institutions. Additional works address political intermediaries such as parties, media, and elites. Finally, all of the works are fundamentally concerned with the supportive popular sentiment that underpins the EU’s legitimacy as a political institution. While there are far more works that can be practically included in this review, we have attempted to construct an overview based on the dimensions that define this research as set out by significant contributions at the core of this literature.
  • lreg-2015-1
    This article reviews the literature on Europeanization beyond the group of EU member and (potential) candidate countries. It uses the analysis of Europeanization in applicant states as a theoretical starting point to ask if, how and under which conditions we can expect domestic effects of European integration beyond Europe. Focusing on Europeanization effects in the areas of regionalism, democracy and human rights, and on the literature on the European Neighborhood Policy in particular, the article collects findings on the strategies and instruments as well as the impact and effectiveness of the EU. The general conclusion to be drawn from the theoretical and empirical literature reviewed is one of low consistency and impact.
  • lreg-2011-1
    The Europeanisation of candidate countries and new members is a rather recent research area that has grown strongly since the early 2000s. Research in this area has developed primarily in the context of the EU's eastern enlargement. A small number of theoretically informed book-length studies of the EU's influence on the Central and Eastern European candidate countries have provided a generalisable conceptual framework for this research area, drawing on the debate between rationalist institutionalist and constructivist institutionalist approaches in International Relations and Comparative Politics. This framework makes these studies highly compatible with analyses of the Europeanisation of member states, with which they also share one key empirical finding, namely that the impact of the EU on candidate countries is differential across countries and issue areas. At the same time, the theoretical implications of these findings appear more clear-cut than in the case of the Europeanisation of member states: rationalist institutionalism, with its focus on the external incentives underpinning EU conditionality and the material costs incurred by domestic veto players, appears well-suited to explaining variation in the patterns of Europeanisation in candidate countries. A very recent development within this research agenda is the focus on the Europeanisation of new member states. While the study of the EU's impact during the early years of membership was hitherto primarily a subfield of analyses of the Europeanisation of member states, it has now become an extension of studies of candidate countries by analysing the impact of accession on the dynamics of pre-accession Europeanisation and how durable and distinctive the patterns of candidate Europeanisation are in the post-accession stage.
  • lreg-2010-2
    This Living Reviews article evaluates the most important strains of social science research on the impact of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on integration, EU-level policymaking, and national legal orders. Section 2 defines the concepts of judicialization and governance, and discusses how they are related. As the article demonstrates, the “constitutionalization of the EU,” and its effect on EU governance, is one of the most complex and dramatic examples of judicialization in world history. Section 3 discusses the institutional determinants of judicial authority in the EU in light of delegation theory. The European Court, a Trustee of the Treaty system rather than a simple Agent of the Member States, operates in an unusually broad zone of discretion, a situation the Court has exploited in its efforts to enhance the effectiveness of EU law. Section 4 focuses on the extraordinary impact of the European Court of Justice, and of the legal system it manages, on the overall course of market and political integration. Section 5 provides an overview of the process through which the ECJ’s case law – its jurisprudence – influences the decision-making of non-judicial EU organs and officials. Section 6 considers the role of the ECJ and the national courts in monitoring and enforcing Member State compliance with EU law, a task that has provoked a steady Europeanization of national law and policymaking.
  • lreg-2014-1 NEW: 2014-08-28
    This essay takes stock of the literature on how European Union policies are being put into practice by the member states. It first provides an overview of the historical evolution of the field. After a relatively late start in the mid-1980s, the field has meanwhile developed into one of the growth industries within EU research. The paper identifies four waves of EU implementation scholarship, each with its own theoretical, empirical and methodological focus. In the second part, the review discusses the most important theoretical, empirical and methodological lessons to be drawn from existing studies. Four conclusions emanate from the analysis of existing EU implementation research. First, the literature has focused heavily on the transposition of EU directives, while comparatively little is known about issues of enforcement and application of both directives and regulations or about member states’ reactions to negative integration. Second, scholars studying the transposition of directives seem to agree that we need to address factors that influence member states’ willingness and capacities to comply. The main task to be accomplished by future research is to establish under what conditions which configurations of factors prevail, especially with regard to sectoral differences. Third, more energy needs to be devoted to systematic research on the phase of practical implementation, and this research should make more use of theoretical insights from domestic implementation research as well as from management and enforcement approaches. Fourth, quantitative transposition research will have to improve the data it uses to measure the dependent variable. Scholars should explore better data sources and invest more energy in collecting their own data on transposition timing and correctness. Research on application and enforcement, on the other hand, needs to go beyond case studies and instead search for or produce data with which the practical phase of implementation can be analysed on a broader, more comparative scale.
  • lreg-2010-1  (Revision)
    From the outset, European integration was about the transfer of powers from the national to the European level, which evolved as explicit bargaining among governments or as an incremental drift. This process was reframed with the competence issue entering the agenda of constitutional policy. It now concerns the shape of the European multilevel polity as a whole, in particular the way in which powers are allocated, delimited and linked between the different levels. This Living Review article summarises research on the relations between the EU and the national and sub-national levels of the member states, in particular on the evolution and division of competences in a multilevel political system. It provides an overview on normative reasonings on an appropriate allocation of competences, empirical theories explaining effective structures of powers and empirical research. The article is structured as follows: First, normative theories of a European federation are discussed. Section 2 deals with legal and political concepts of federalism and presents approaches of the economic theory of federalism in the context of the European polity. These normative considerations conclude with a discussion of the subsidiarity principle and the constitutional allocation of competences in the European Treaties. Section 3 covers the empirical issue of how to explain the actual allocation of competences (scope and type) between levels. Integration theories are presented here in so far as they explain the transfer of competence from the national to the European level or the limits of this centralistic dynamics. Normative and empirical theories indeed provide some general guidelines for evaluation and explanations of the evolution of competences in the EU, but they both contradict the assumption of a separation of power. The article therefore concludes that politics and policy-making in the EU have to be regarded as multilevel governance (Section 4). The main theoretical approaches and results from empirical research on European multilevel governance are summarised before we sketch suggestions for further discussion and research in the field (Section 5).
 

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