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The Puzzles and Paradoxes of Europeanisation: Lessons from the Scottish Experience

Smith, James. (2004) The Puzzles and Paradoxes of Europeanisation: Lessons from the Scottish Experience. In: UNSPECIFIED, Sheffield, UK.

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    [Introduction]. In certain key respects, the Europeanisation of government bureaucracy leads to outcomes which might be regarded as somewhat puzzling and paradoxical. This puzzle is seen to revolve around the belief that whilst membership of the European Union (EU) has wrought significant impact upon the shape and direction of national policies and policy processes, the impact upon the bureaucratic infrastructure of domestic government systems has by comparison been somewhat limited. Of late, however, a means of resolving this puzzle has been put forward. In short, the preoccupation of historical-institutionalist analysis with largely structural, institutional and procedural-based aspects of change may, it is argued, have led to the apparently divergent or contradictory paths taken by the respective policy-related and bureaucratic-administrative forms of Europeanisation. A less puzzling interpretation of developments might flow if, in addition to the purely institutionalist perspective, more attention were to be focused upon broader cultural factors and the role played by individuals within the context of bureaucratic adaptation processes. This paper attempts to follow the latter course by way of a case-study examination of how bureaucratic Europeanisation came to impact upon the institutional basis of territorial government in Scotland across a thirty year period. The focus is thus upon the long-term impact on first the Scottish Office from 1973 onwards and then the Scottish Executive with the advent of devolution in 1999. The aim is to examine the trajectory and relative depth of Europeanisation experienced in this particular case and the extent to which that Europeanisation has in fact been influenced by not only the broader structural and procedural context of the UK administrative system as a whole but also by cultural, actor-based and departmental factors specific to the Scottish case. In so doing it should also be possible to ascertain where this casestudy sits in terms of broader theoretical definitions and conceptualisations of Europeanisation and in particular, whether it might be deemed compatible with the ‘top-down’ interpretation which frames the various contributions to this volume.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > U.K.
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level > subnational/regional/territorial
    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: University of Sheffield, Department of Politics > ESRC/UACES Series of Seminars on EBPP > 2004-07-16 Seminar on EBPP
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2006
    Page Range: p. 27
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:40

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