Politicising Europe: Integration and Mass Politics by Swen Hutter, Edgar Grande, Hanspeter Kriesi

By Swen Hutter, Edgar Grande, Hanspeter Kriesi

Politicising Europe provides the main finished contribution to empirical learn on politicisation to this point. The examine is cutting edge in either conceptual and empirical phrases. Conceptually, the participants strengthen and observe a brand new index and typology of politicisation. Empirically, the amount offers a major quantity of unique information, tracing politicisation in a comparative viewpoint over greater than 40 years. concentrating on six eu international locations (Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the united kingdom) from the Seventies to the present euro situation, the booklet examines conflicts over Europe in election campaigns, road protests, and public debates on each significant step within the integration approach. It indicates that ecu integration has certainly develop into politicised. even though, the styles and advancements vary markedly throughout international locations and arenas, and plenty of of the main hypotheses at the using forces of switch must be revisited in view of recent findings.

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By emphasising or de-emphasising European issues in general, actors attempt to influence the overall visibility or salience of these issues. Moreover, by focusing on specific aspects, actors may try to shift attention to controversies in which they are likely to profit relative to other actors. In this context, we argue that the distinction between constitutive and policy-related European issues is crucial (for similar distinctions, see Bartolini 2005: 310 and Schmitt 2007). , questions of authority transfer, membership, institutional capabilities and decision-making rules.

In addition, as Hooghe and Marks (2009) show very plausibly, an essential irony of the increasing politicisation of Europe is a deepening interconnection of European decision processes and national political competition. This is not to say that we restrict our analysis to the national level, however. Our strategy for collecting and analysing data deliberately attempts to avoid the pitfalls of methodological nationalism. In our study, we analyse data at three different levels: (a) the national level, where we are only interested in the participation of national actors in national debates; (b) the transnational level, where we focus on domestic political arenas, but include actors from other countries or from supranational institutions and international organisations; and (c) the European level, where we analyse data at an aggregate level.

It was the establishment of a ‘high authority’ with exclusive, superordinate rights which antagonised governments from the very beginning of European integration in the early 1950s. In comparison with other forms of regional cooperation, the EU has become unique not only because of the broad scope of cooperation, but, even more, because of the extensive ‘pooling of sovereignty’ (Keohane 2002), the establishment of several supranational institutions with authoritative rights vis-à-vis member states, and, not the least, the replacement of the unanimity rule by (qualified) majority decisions in most of the policy areas in which the EU enjoys legal competencies.

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