EU theories

IR theories on the EU integration, sustainability and enlargement. Federalism and neo-functionalism take integration for granted and do not give actual reasons why states would integrate in the first place. Also, most forms of integration will stop before the creation of a super state. Realism is concerned with high politics, the prominence of the state and the anarchical nature of the international system. Republicanism, commercialism and institutionalism all fall under the category of liberal theories which stress on low politics and cooperation. None the less, both realists and liberals share a scepticism about the abandonment of national sovereignty.

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  • Created by: Zorica
  • Created on: 03-05-10 09:56


- national independence brings mistrust, reciprocal threats, rivalry and conflict

- concerned with high politics (national and international concerns of survival)

- prepetual peace theory

- the unification of the American colonies

- abolition of national independence

- a union of Europe will solve the conflict among different groups with an institutional deus ex machina

- rise of arms is illegal

- two parts of government: the parts and the whole

- the federation (the whole) controls all instruments of violence

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- more normative than analytic: doesn't explain why states would eventually give up their soveregnity

- main aim: a common defence and foreign policy

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- derived from the functionalist school

- concerned with low politics (welfare of citizens)

- stems from the inability of states to provide essential services to citizens

- political functions must be preformed at the most efficient level ( leads to ultimate global unification)

- a league will select and define functions for the contrary purpose of integrating with regards to the interests of all (Mitrany)

- neofunctionalists utilized Mitany's analysis framework and some federalist concepts

- a continental union is needed

- political integration brings loyalties, expectations and political activities towards a new centre, imposed over the pre-existing national ones (Haas)

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- future integration is determined by the current level of integration (an ever closer Union is based on the original intentions)

- integration creates spillovers (functional, technical, political)

- integration is non-linear

- natural spillovers don't always come through (failure of EDC and Fouchet Plans)

- states outside the integration process provide stimulus for integration

- externalization due to non-members

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Realism and Neorealism

- sceptical about international cooperation

- European integration creates a problem for realist theory

- Waltz: states sometimes seek goals that they value higher than survival and may prefer to cooperate with other states

- integration will not alter the basic characteristics of the international system (anarchy)

- an European great power is unlikely

- cooperation is possible only when a stronger state imposes its will (European integration happens due to American security interests)

- a stronger European Union might bring to strenuous trans-Atlantic relations

- members will ensure that the rules governing the cooperation will give them opportunities to pursue their own interests

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- a common European foreign and security policy as a strong and permanent alliance

- absolute Westphalian sovereignty does not exist

- most cases of political unification have happened by the means of conquest, annexation and secession or an internal or external military threat. The absence of these concepts brings failure to unify.

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- stresses the importance of domestic regimes

- post-WWII democratisation of Europe has brought integration (democratic peace theory)

- Olson's public goods theory:

- history explains integration

- older democracies have an established collective action plan while young democracies favour general interests

- in a collaborative agreement to produce a public good, each party has an interest in free riding which in turn leads to underproduction of the good

- in Europe: even if a common basic policy is desirable, no one wants to carry the costs of its implementation

- economics vs. foreign policy

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- intergovernmentalist school (Putnam, Moravcsik)

- governments negotiate internationally only on the issues that are favoured domestically

- integration increases governments power because they gain extra resources against their domestic opposition

- therefore foreign policy stays outside the community framework since governments already enjoy a high degree of autonomy in that respect (EU democratic deficit)

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- based on commercial traditions by stressing the importance of economic processes

- recent transnational flows have created interdependent societies

- security matters have lost their prominence over trade issues

- states should pool political resources in order to deal with these issues (European integration is a by-product of this process)

- interdependence demands a common European role in world affairs (common foreign policy

- accounts for the different levels of success in developing a common position in various fields (economics, trade, foreign policy, security, monetary issues)

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- proposes the development of international institutions

- conflict comes from a lack of trust

- lesser outcomes are possible even when there is a common interest to cooperate

- interacting in a more structured setting enhances the commonality of the interests by reducing uncertain variables (establish international institutions)

- when the costs of creating an institution is too big states will integrate on their own

- in the EU: the stronger the institutions the more active the role

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