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Experts and Academics as Ideas Generators and Promulgators: Identifying the Social Policy Community of the European Union

Amiya-Nakada, Ryosuke. (2012) Experts and Academics as Ideas Generators and Promulgators: Identifying the Social Policy Community of the European Union. University of Tokyo Journal of Law and Politics, 9. pp. 162-182. ISSN 1349-0672

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    The Social policy discourse of the EU is characterized by its continuous evolution. True, there are shifts in emphasis and change in the buzzwords; Social Model, Flexicurity, and Employability are examples. Still, beneath stylistic fluctuations, a common thread through policy development can be discerned since the Delors era. This paper is an attempt to figure out such continuity and seek its foundation in the existence of a rather stable policy community. Specifically, the paper highlights the role of academics and policy experts. The paper proceeds in three steps. First, it traces the development of the social policy discourse since the Delors era, based on comprehensive examination of the presidency conclusions of the European Council and the important social policy documents. This will show that recent topics and policy frames can be traced back to the earlier days, which is conditioned by the institutional configuration and objective policy tasks which the EU has been faced with. Second, this paper insists that such continuity cannot be taken for granted, because the issues are electorally important and the political power balance has shifted many times. As an explanation of such not-so-natural continuity, the paper stresses the role of the social policy community surrounding the EU institutions, especially that of academics and policy experts. Through the analysis of the participants and contents of the presidency conferences, academic reports and policy papers, it is shown that relatively stable members of the policy community have been continuously mobilised. Lastly, as a first step to gauge the net effect of that policy community, this paper picks up several examples to illuminate when and how this policy community takes effects and where the limits lie. As a concluding remark, the paper proposes a punctuated Europeanisation metaphor as a description of the policy dynamics in the social policy domain.

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    Item Type: Article
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Council-Presidency
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > general
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Depositing User: Ryosuke Amiya-Nakada
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2012 08:16
    Number of Pages: 21
    Page Range: pp. 162-182
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2012 08:17

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