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New Working Papers (No. 80-90)

Aug 21, 2018

KFG Working Paper Series

KFG Working Paper Series

During the year, especially during the last few months, we published many new Working Papers. Please note that No. 84-89 are pre-published book chapters of the upcoming publication “European Integration Theory” (3rd edition/ Oxford University Press), edited by Tanja A. Börzel, Thomas Risse and Antje Wiener.

Working Paper No. 90 "EU-NATO Cooperation and Strategic Autonomy - Logical Contradictions or Ariadne's Thread?"

Jolyon Howorth

The EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP) was launched in the 1990s as a quest for “autonomy.” Fifteen years of efforts failed to deliver that objective. The coherence of the EU member states in their security dealings with the US was always vulnerable to the potentially incompatible objectives of the UK and France. But as EU leaders post-Brexit re-launch the CSDP, as the 2016 European Global Strategy rediscovers the virtues of “strategic autonomy,” and as the world juggles with a US president who appears to question the basis of the Atlantic Alliance, it is time to radically re-think the relations between the EU and NATO. This paper argues that, in the longer term, it is through the strengthening of the EU-NATO relationship that EU strategic autonomy will become possible, and that a consolidation of the transatlantic bond will emerge.

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Working Paper No. 89 “Taking Stock of Integration Theory”

Antje Wiener

This concluding chapter of the third edition of European Integration Theory (OUP 2018) takes stock of the updated mosaic of integration theory. The chapter is organized in three sections. The first section offers a comparative perspective on the book’s chapters. To that end, it presents the preferences of each approach from a comparative perspective, against the backdrop of three leading metaphorical perceptions of the EU. The second section addresses the absence of security crises in the book’s contributions. To explore, how security crises may be brought into focus in integration theory, it distinguishes the impact of integration along two dimensions. These include first, the horizontal regional comparative perspective and the ‘litmus test’ of the applicability of integration theory to other regions; and second, the vertical dimension which connects normative crises in EU sub-units with global conflicts. And the concluding third section asks how integration theory fares sixty years on from the Treaty of Rome, and points out potential issues and themes for the future of European integration theory.

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Working Paper No. 88 “Introducing the Mosaic of Integration Theory”

Thomas Diez | Antje Wiener

This introductory chapter of the third edition of European Integration Theory (OUP 2018) addresses the rationale for a book on European integration theory and introduces the contributions to the book. It begins by addressing the question of Why Study Integration Theory; it then defines the terms ‘integration’ and ‘theory’ and introduces the ‘mosaic of European integration theory’ as the book’s central concept. The chapter also offers an overview of European integration as a process which has been studied for several decades now. To that end, the chapter recalls distinct phases of integration and the respective parts of the mosaic which have been developed to understand and explain them based on descriptive, analytical and constructive theorising. Each phase is distinguished by historical context, leading questions and relevant theoretical reference points. The book’s extensive section on Studying European Integration by taking account of ‘contexts of theoretical development’ and addressing the question of ‘competing or complementary theoretical approaches’ which also identifies the functions and areas of theory. In concluding, the chapter details the concept of the ‘Mosaic of Integration Theory’ and introduces the chapter structure of the book’s contributions.

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Working Paper No. 87 “Critical Political Economy”

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn | Laura Horn

European integration is a fundamentally open-ended and contested process. Within the ‘mosaic of European integration theories’, critical political economy perspectives highlight the imbalances and structural power asymmetries of the European project, and how they have become manifest in the multiple crises in Europe. How to account for both the origins and consequences of this crisis has become a key question for scholars and students of European integration. We argue that critical political economy (CPE) has an important and unique contribution to make here. Unlike other approaches, CPE seeks to uncover the deep connections between the (internal) dynamics of the European integration process and the dynamics of global capitalism, arguing that European integration, or disintegration for that matter, takes place in a global, structural context that shapes and conditions both form and content of the integration process. In this paper, we provide an overview of the key concepts, methodology and arguments of a critical political economy perspective on European integration. Following a discussion of the core conceptual framework, the paper then proceeds with an integrated analysis of EMU as a political project, with a particular focus on continuity and changes within the political economy of neoliberalism. The Euro crisis here serves as a contemporary reference point to illustrate the strengths and contributions of critical political economy perspectives to the overall mosaic of European integration theories.

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Working Paper No. 86 “Discourse and European Integration”

Ruth Wodak

Integrating theories about discourse (Discourse Studies; DS) with social science theories allows to grasp the dynamic and fluid co-construction of European identities, both top-down and bottom-up. Such interdisciplinary approaches systematically deconstruct the everyday workings of European institutions and support our understanding of the impact of traditional and social media in their production and reproduction of pro-European or Eurosceptic sentiments and attitudes. In this chapter, I first present some important characteristics of Discourse Studies and Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), specifically of the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA). I then, secondly, summarize the most relevant discursive research based on a range oftheories and methodological approaches on European integration. Thirdly, I illustrate the interdisciplinary nexus of discourse-oriented European studies with a case study on the mediatization and politicization of the refugee crisis in Austria, from 2015-2016. I specifically focus on legitimation strategies and argumentation schemes which accompany the implementation of ever more restrictive policy decisions.

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Working Paper No. 85 “A Litmus Test for European Integration Theories: Explaining Crises and Comparing Regionalisms”

Tanja A. Börzel | Thomas Risse

This paper deals with two litmus tests for theories of European integration. The first part asks, how and to what extent various approaches can explain the contemporary crises of European integration. It thereby tackles the question whether European integration theories might have biased EU scholars towards ignoring evidence for (dis-)integration. While being more optimistic about the state of the Union than many EU scholars are, the paper argues for a more differentiated conceptualization of integration as a continuous variable that takes disintegration rather than stagnation or no integration as the opposite value of integration. The second part of the paper asks to what extent European integration theories are able to shed light on experiences with regionalism across the globe. It argues that they do provide plausible accounts for the emergence of regionalism around the world. Comparing regions points to important scope conditions under which European integration theories operate. When it comes to outcomes, however, they need to be complemented by explanations emphasizing diffusion to explain why and when states are more inclined to pool and delegate sovereignty in some regions than in others.

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Working Paper No. 84 “Governance Approaches to European Integration”

Tanja A. Börzel

After twenty years of continuous deepening and widening, European integration has entered an era of recurrent crises. Most students of the European Union (EU) seem to agree that the constitutional equilibrium between intergovernmental and supranational institutions has changed. Some see “new intergovernmentalism” and “integration without supranationalisation” prevail. Others contend that we witness a series of functional and institutional spillovers empowering supranational institutions. This paper argues that governance approaches are particularly useful to address the puzzling counter-positions represented in the current debate about the ‘nature of the beast. They are better equipped to explore how and to what end institutional structures and processes have responded to the crises than mainstream integration theories.
The paper starts with introducing the “governance turn” in EU studies as the attempt of EU scholars in the early 1990s to capture the nature of the EU. It then presents a typology that is based on a broad concept of governance as institutionalized forms of political coordination. The empirical part uses this typology to give an overview of the structures and processes of EU governance before applying it to the financial and the migration crises. The paper concludes with a discussion of the major challenges for European integration (theories) from a governance perspective, particularly with regard to managing current and preventing future crises.

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Working Paper No. 83 “Good and Bad Banking on Europe’s Periphery: Pathways to Catching Up and Falling Behind”

Rachel Epstein | Martin Rhodes

In this paper we seek to explain why bank performance has varied so dramatically during and after the financial crisis on Europe’s periphery, both across states and within them. Our dependent variable is bank performance defined in terms of credit provision and banks’ contribution to financial stability. Our independent variable is the particular mix at play between political/social purpose and what we call ‘market authority’ - the importance of market incentives, signals and pricing within a particular financial ‘ecosystem’. “Economic nationalism” or the politicization of local and regional banks has often imbued banks with social and political goals, serving the economy at different levels, and is one major source of political/social purpose. But the latter must be constrained by market authority. We argue that for optimal bank performance, economic nationalism or political/social purpose must be constrained by market authority, otherwise a political logic (e.g. cronyism, a lack of professionalism, and deficits in banking expertise) can easily subvert or distort credit provision and undermine financial stability.

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Working Paper No. 82 „Regionalism in Eurasia: Explaining Authority Transfers to Regional Organizations”

Ann-Sophie Gast

Corresponding to the global proliferation of inter-state activities at the regional level since the end of the Cold War, Eurasia has experienced a surge of regional agreements and organizations. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, more than 29 regional organizations (ROs) with significant membership and agenda overlap have emerged. These organizations differ significantly in terms of institutional design. Organizations that were created in the 1990s and early 2000s display very limited or no pooling of authority and low to moderate delegation. Regional organizations that were established during the past decade show pronounced delegation and median pooling. A mapping based on formal treaty analysis shows a general deepening of regional integration over time. It also reveals three phases of Eurasian regionalism with distinct integration dynamics and goals. Especially the third phase is surprising, as we do not only witness the increase of political authority of ROs, but also a more consequent implementation of agreements and the introduction of supranational elements. This deepening of regionalism is puzzling in light of 1) the rather recent independence of the Eurasian states and their colonial past under Russian domination, 2) the level of autocracy in the region, and 3) the presence of a regional hegemon, which has moreover recently experienced an authoritarian backlash. Relying on the concept of political authority, the first part of this paper gives an overview of the development of formal regional integration in Eurasia during the past 25 years. The second part of the paper asks why Russia and the smaller Eurasian states go along with increasing authority transfers to ROs. Based on a series of elite interviews conducted in Russian in February and March 2017, potential drivers of Eurasian regionalism are explained, with particular attention to Russian motives. The paper concludes with an outlook on avenues for future research.

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Working Paper No. 81 “Overcoming Obstacles in Global Climate Action from Copenhagen to Paris: Issue Framing as a Tool to Understand Opportunities for Policy Change”

Jean A. Garrison

The global climate change agreement completed on December 12, 2015 in Paris set a collective target to cap greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius with a goal to get as close as possible to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. These goals were to be accomplished through a “bottom up” mechanism for national policy approaches in which states made their own choices about how they would meet climate targets. This paper examines why and how an agreement was possible in 2015 when it had not been before. What was different in Paris, or leading up to Paris, so that the parties involved successfully came to an agreement when it was not possible in Copenhagen? This paper presents a problem definition and issue framing perspective to examine the shift in the discussion in Paris from the burdens of climate action to opportunities climate action offered for economic and development models. It provides a road map to understand the role of key stakeholders, including governments, the business community, civil society, and subnational actors in the making of the climate agreement.

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Working Paper No. 80 “Regional Parliamentary Institutions: Diffusion of a Global Parliamentary Organizational Design?”

Michael Giesen

In the last three decades Regional Parliamentary Institutions (RPIs) have experienced a rapid increase and spread across all regions around the globe. They represent a unique parliamentary phenomenon of international affairs that first and foremost exhibits a genuine legitimacy nexus between local constituencies and the international area. This paper builds on this characteristic and elaborates a legitimacy approach that identifies three legitimacy mechanisms that may help to conceptualize the establishment of specific design features of RPIs. To this end, a concise typology of RPIs with two disjunctive criteria – election mode and connection to a parent regional organization – provides the grounds for a systematic analysis of their organizational design. Building on a newly created dataset of 68 globally spread RPIs, the empirical analysis generates two main findings: (1) the rapid increase of RPIs after 1989 is empirically corroborated for all regions and most types of these institutions; (2) two standard applications of the developed legitimacy mechanisms – functional and normative legitimacy arguments – are not significant in explaining the choice of specific design features of RPIs. Therefore, the observed rapid increase and global spread of these institutions provide tentative evidence to support a diffusion analysis of their emergence and design, making the paper call for a more thorough conceptualization of RPIs’ organizational design and processes of inter-dependent decision-making.

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