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"The European Commission and the 'European Interest': Institutions, interaction and preference formation in the EU context"

Cram, Laura. (1997) "The European Commission and the 'European Interest': Institutions, interaction and preference formation in the EU context". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)

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    For both Haas and Deutsch, the concept of a European political community or of a "sense of Europeanness" were prerequisites for progress towards an integrated Europe. The "mutual relevance" achieved as actors entered into iterated transactions with one another would, it was argued, help to shape the preferences of these actors and their propensity to work together in the future. Recently, the question of how and why groups formed, has once again come to the fore in integration studies. In this respect, the application of "historical institutionalist" approaches to the study of European integration has been an important development. Institutions to a large extent condition the choice of strategy selected by political actors, but to what extent do they also condition the very goals pursued by those same political actors? The decision to collaborate at the European level is, of course, made within the context of a set opportunities facilitating cooperation and of a set of constraints inhibiting the prospect of collaboration. Thus it is important to identify what these opportunities and constraints are, how they are generated, and how they might affect the preference formation of those actors faced with the prospect of participation in the European venture. The hypothesis put forward in this paper is that the activities of the EU (the prevailing rules, norms and conventions); the activities of the EU governance, play an important role in explaining the propensity of actors both to embark upon and to sustain their collaboration at the EU level, thus contributing to the emergence of a political community at the EU level. In short, that the "political institutions organize these interactions in ways that shape interpretations and preferences" (March and Olsen, 1989: 41) and that "not just the strategies but also the goals actors pursue are shaped by the institutional context" (Thelen and Steinmo, 1992: 8).

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1997 (5th), May 29-June 1, 1997
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2007
    Page Range: p. 32
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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