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"Obedient Servant or Runaway Eurocracy? Delegation, Agency, and Agenda Setting in the European Community"

Pollack, Mark A. (1995) "Obedient Servant or Runaway Eurocracy? Delegation, Agency, and Agenda Setting in the European Community". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)

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    Do supranational institutions matter - do they deserve the status of an independent causal variable - in EC policymaking? Does the Commission matter? Does the European Court of Justice? Does the European Parliament? Is the European Community characterized by continued member state dominance, or by a runaway Commission and an activist Court progressively chipping away at this dominance? These are some of the most important questions for our understanding of the European Community and of European integration, and have divided the two traditional schools of thought in regional integration, with neofunctionalists [Haas 1958; Lindberg & Scheingold 1970] generally asserting, and intergovernmentalists [Hoffmann 1966; Taylor 1983; Moravcsik 1991, 1993] generally denying, any important causal role for supranational institutions in the integration process. By and large, however, neither neofunctionalism nor intergovernmentalism1 has generated testable hypotheses regarding the conditions under which, and the ways in which, supranational institutions exert an independent causal influence on either EC governance or the process of European integration. This paper presents a unified theoretical approach to the problem of supranational influence, based largely on the new institutionalism in rational choice theory. Simplifying only slightly, this new literature can be traced to Shepsle's [1979] pioneering work on the role of institutions in the US Congress. Beginning with the observation by McKelvey [1976], Riker [1980] and others that, in a system of majoritarian decisionmaking, policy choices are inherently unstable, "cycling" among multiple possible equilibria, Shepsle argued that Congressional institutions, and in particular the committee system, could produce structure-induced equilibrium, by ruling some policy alternatives as permissible or impermissible, and by structuring the voting and veto power of the various actors in the decisionmaking process.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > general
    Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1995 (4th), May 11-14, 1995
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2007
    Page Range: p. 35
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:45

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