Buntrock, Oliver. (2006) "Institution-Induced Problem Solving: Problem-Oriented Micro-Institutionalization and the Cases of the European Steel Crises in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)". In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
Given the theoretical presumption of most institutionalist approaches based on the Coase-theorem that institutions contribute to cooperation and thus to problem solving beyond the hierarchical coordination of the nation state, the question comes up whether this assumption proves true empirically and, if so, under which conditions. As the European steel crises show, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was, despite its strong supranational design and its powerful instruments, not able for more than twenty years to contribute to the solution of these crises. Examining the cases of the European steel crises, it seems that the afore-mentioned presumption proves true under the following two preconditions which, moreover, presuppose each other. First, the specific combination of strategies of action applied by the Commission regarding the policy formulation and the implementation phase, and second, the organization-induced mechanism which in this paper will be presented as "problem-oriented micro-institutionalization," which means that the organization, induces the creation of further actors and infrastructures at those sites, where cooperation problems have been located. In the case of the European steel crises, it seems apparent that the ECSC with its original institutional structure was not able to get the crises under control. Rather problem solving required the supplement of the original widely meshed institutional structure by further actors and infrastructures – a process which can be illustrated by a matryoshka, the Russian wooden doll with smaller and smaller dolls inside.
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