Analysis ofthreeperspectives
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Analysis ofthreeperspectives Analysis ofthreeperspectives Document Transcript

  • GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY ANALYSIS OF THREE PERSPECTIVES: A LOOK AT THE RE-LAUNCH OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY GEST 590: THE EUROPEAN UNION DR. ANDERSON BY SEAN P. MCBRIDE WASHINGTON, DC 12 OCTOBER 2009
  • 1 Introduction The re-launching of the European Community in the mid-1980s was a milestone arguably as important as the initial creation of the ECSC. The Single European Act prioritized the creation of a barrier-free internal market, and extended the principle of qualified majority voting in the Council to matters relating to the single market project. In order to study the varied theoretical analyses of Project 1992, I will examine the writings of Wayne Sandholtz, John Zysman, Andrew Moravcsik, and David Cameron. I will address these papers separately in the order they were published due to the interpretive influence they had on each other, and then conclude with a comparison of their analyses and explanations. Upon close analysis of these three papers, Andrew Moravcsik offers the most compelling examination of Project 1992 due to his historically-grounded and well-articulated theoretical analysis. These elements set him apart from the other two papers, as Sandholtz and Zysman pay too little attention to the historical record in arguing their neo-functional analysis, and as Cameron fails to synthesize neofunctional and intergovernmental thought into a meaningful theoretical construct. 2 “1992: Recasting the European Bargain” by Wayne Sandholtz and John Zysman 2.A Explanation Sandholtz and Zysman depict the events leading up to 1992 as a “dramatic new start” fully distinct from the original efforts of European integration (Sandholtz and Zysman, 95). They argue that the end of the Cold War and the economic rise of Japan caused structural changes that forced the European states to reevaluate their place in the world vis-à-vis the United States. Similarly, they attribute stagflation and perceived economic disparity with the US and Japan as leading to an electoral shift towards market-friendly political parties and factions open to further integration following the failure of own their domestic efforts. Sandholtz and Zysman argue that these internal and external pressures strengthened the Commission in its role as policy
  • entrepreneur for an expanded EC. In this role, the Commission ignored the national governments and appealed directly to transnational business, which clearly saw this reform as in their interest and formed the “Roundtable of European Industrialists” in 1983 in order to collaborate with the Commission to pressure national executives (Sandholtz and Zysman, 117). According to Sandholtz and Zysman, the pressure brought to bear on the national executives by business from below and the EC from above ensured it was only a matter of time before the SEA was passed. 2.B Theoretical Analysis According to Sandholtz and Zysman, the outcome of 1992 had nothing to do with mass movements, pressure groups, or legislatures (Sandholtz and Zysman, 107). Instead, the SEA came into existence due to an elite bargain between the European Commission and the European multinational corporations, under whose combined pressure the national executives had to acquiesce. Having failed to solve stagflation at the national level, the authors characterize the national executives as choosing between stagnation and integration (Sandholtz and Zysman, 97). In final analysis, Sandholtz and Zysman offer a nuanced mixture of supranational institutionalism and neo-functionalism. Their emphasis on EC officials as integration lobbyists, business interests as increasingly multinational, and European states as unable to unilaterally solve economic problems fits well with neofunctionalist thought. Additionally, though the authors’ temporal division of European integration along the lines of structural forces appears to deviate from the linear nature of neo-functionalism, their portrayal of prevailing economic forces suggests that integration will likely continue, though need not necessarily move at a uniform pace. Due to their increased focus on structural factors and their decreased focus on spillover effects, their framework is relatively unique, but their focus on technocratic automaticity and
  • transfers of domestic allegiance requires Sandholtz and Zysman to be classified within the neo- functionalist camp. 3 “Negotiating the Single European Act” by Andrew Moravcsik 3.A Explanation Moravcsik’s narrative of the Single European Act differs from that of Sandholtz and Zysman in several key ways. Most importantly, he relegates the role of the Commission and the European multinationals to the dustbin, and instead focuses on the domestic affairs and politics of the three dominant EC members: Britain, France, and Germany. He concludes that the single market was made possible by the election of the Tories in Britain and the shifting of the French Socialist party to a pro-market stance, which brought Britain and France more in line with Germany regarding economic liberalization. Regarding procedural reform, the author concludes that France and Germany were greatly in favor of increased majority voting in the Council, and that Britain’s opposition to the issue was countered by the French threat of exclusion from further negotiation. Thus, these two reforms were carried out and the others were scrapped, leading to what the author calls the lowest common denominator. Nevertheless, he stipulates that even this outcome was not assured, as outside issues such Thatcher’s demand for a CAP rebate could have destroyed the consensus needed for reform. It was therefore preposterous to speak of national executives as passive or submissive actors. 3.B Theoretical Analysis Moravcsik challenges Sandholtz and Zysman’s characterization that elite bargains between the Commission and European multinationals were the primary cause for 1992. Regarding the Commission, Moravcsik limits the importance of Cockfield and Delors to their ability to tailor preexisting reform proposals in a way compatible with the interest of the major
  • member states. Furthermore, he portrays the European multinationals as more reactionary than proactive, stating that the business ties to the EC were small and that the Roundtable of European Industrialists did not get involved in the debate until well along in the negotiations, not even moving to Brussels until 1988 (Moravcsik, 45). Having reduced the role of these actors, Moravcsik proposes an alternate analysis of 1992 as the product of intergovernmental negotiations brought about by “the convergence of national interests, the pro-European idealism of heads of government, and the decisive role of the large member states” (Moravcsik, 48). Most notable in this proposal is the author’s full dismissal of small member states, assuming that their small relative weight allows them to be easily influenced or bought off by structural funds (Moravcsik, 25). Moravcsik’s analysis is deeply grounded in intergovernmental institutionalism and neorealism. His willingness to sideline supranational actors in favor of national executives reflects his belief that national governments ultimately control the process of European integration. Thus, Moravcsik’s characterization of Margaret Thatcher turning the SEA into a victory for Britain demonstrats the efficacy of the concept of the lowest common denominator (Moravcsik, 44). In the realm of procedural reform, Moravcsik even portrays Britain’s failure as intergovernmental, as it was not a supranational actor but France and Germany that successfully pressured Britain. France’s threat of a two-tiered Europe reflected the danger that Britain could lose its place at the intergovernmental bargaining table in determining the organization of Europe. Most telling of all is Moravcsik’s Clausewitzian charge that “EC politics is the continuation of domestic policies by other means,” suggesting that intergovernmental power politics has by no means disappeared, but perhaps moved from the battlefield to the EC. (Moravcsik, 25).
  • 4 “The 1992 Initiative: Causes and Consequences” by David Cameron 4.A Explanation Cameron’s narrative of EU reform is in many ways a reconciliation of Moravcsik with Sandholtz and Zysman. Prompted by his belief that all actors are important, the author focuses on both Moravcsik’s national executives and Sandholtz and Zysman’s supranational actors. Thus, he examines France, Germany, and Britain next to the Commission and the Roundtable of European Industrialists. Most interestingly, this placement of the national next to the supranational results in a fuller picture of the European Community complete with the intergovernmental European Council at its apex. In this light, Cameron argues that the European Council, not the Commission, was the driving force behind economic and monetary union. He further characterizes the history of the internal market initiative as the history of the European Council’s meeting through the 1980s (Cameron, 63). 4.B Theoretical Analysis After rejecting neofunctionalism and neorealism as inadequate for understanding the 1992 initiative, Cameron’s article attempts to use both theories to develop a fuller and better- rounded analysis (Cameron, 30). This approach allows him to mention spillover in one sentence and intergovernmentalism in the next, but it does so at the expense of his theoretical coherence. Furthermore, his concluding statement that “it will be the states… rather than the supranational organizations of the Community that will… define shape, and control policy” exposes him as an intergovernmentalist at heart, causing one to wonder why he feels so uncomfortable admitting as such (Cameron, 74). Cameron’s primary theoretical thrust is that the EC is simultaneously integrationist and intergovernmental (Cameron, 65), meaning that though the EC continues to be defined by intergovernmental negotiation, supranational institution building is indeed taking place. However, he stipulates that the ongoing dominance of the member states will tend to
  • make this supranational institutional building all for naught. In this light, Cameron’s definition of “integrationist” is exactly in line with Moravcsik, meaning the product of intergovernmental negotiations brought about by “the convergence of national interests, the pro-European idealism of heads of government, and the decisive role of the large member states” (Moravcsik, 48). Nevertheless, Cameron does take a very different tone by attributing to the European Council the “policy leadership… necessary for the development of the internal market” (Cameron, 63). His illustration of a council of national executives “prodding the Commission and the Council of Ministers to work more expeditiously” towards the single market draws a stark contrast to Moravcsik’s emphasis on Margaret Thatcher’s efforts to limit the SEA or Sandholtz and Zysman’s characterization of an elite bargain that fully cuts over the heads of the national executives. In final analysis, Cameron is deeply intergovernmentalist. Though he is more willing than Moravcsik to admit progress in supranational institution building, he concludes that institutionalized intergovernmentalism will continue to dominate the European Community. 5 Conclusion As Cameron’s paper illustrates, the 1992 Project clearly possessed both elements of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. Nevertheless, Cameron’s refusal to coherently ground himself to a theory robs him of his ability to form meaningful analysis. While his narrative is certainly the most complete among the papers, it also does the poorest job at filtering out meaningful content for the reader. If he indeed believes that intergovernmentalism was the dominant force behind integration, he does himself a disservice by failing to show that through his narrative. His suggestion that supranational institutions will never be able to displace intergovernmentalism begs the question of why he featured supranational institutions so prominently. Furthermore, Cameron’s characterization of the European Council as the political
  • executive of the Community offers little theory beyond Moravcsik’s elevation of national executives. Though the term “institutionalized intergovernmentalism” sits better alongside descriptions of supranational institutions, Cameron’s admission that the European Council “is not, strictly speaking, a Community institution, since it was not created by the treaties” shows that his characterization of the European Council as the political executive is merely a rhetorical construct theoretically differing little from Moravcsik (Cameron, 63). In contrast to Cameron, the other authors offer clear analysis of the 1992 process through coherent use of a single theoretical construct. These two other papers focus on the actors they consider most relevant, and explain away those that do not. This approach makes the analyses in the piece by Moravcsik and the piece by Sandholtz and Zysman far more useful to the reader. Between these two pieces, the one by Moravcsik is superior because it has a more detailed narrative that (perhaps because it was published later) very effectively counters Sandholtz and Zysman’s analysis. Sandholtz and Zysman attempt to counter what they perceived as the two alternative theoretical approaches to 1992, but because they could not possibly know what Moravcsik would later write, their categorization does not fit Moravcsik’s approach, which fell somewhere between “domestic politics” and “elite bargains.” Indeed, Moravcsik’s approach is characterized by elite bargains just as readily as that of Sandholtz and Zysman, with the bargains taking place between national executives as opposed to supranational authorities and multinational corporations. In contrast, because Moravcsik likely wrote his article in response to the piece by Sandholtz and Zysman, his argument directly challenges numerous points of their analysis by crafting a detailed narrative that definitively demonstrates the superior role of national executives in shaping Project 1992 vis-à-vis the supranational bodies and multinational corporations. Due to his superior narrative
  • and his defensible and clear theoretical framework, Andrew Moravcsik’s “Negotiating the Single European Act” offers the best analysis of the re-launching of the European Community.