Weber, Katja. (1995) "European Integration Revisited". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. The field of international relations is built on a conception of autonomous and self-interested states which, in the anarchic setting of international politics, rely on self-help. And yet, we frequently do see cooperation among states as numerous security and economic arrangements throughout history bear witness to. To understand world politics, I argue, one must recognize the importance of emerging hierarchies--with nation-states as their constituent elements and institutional structures that take substantial autonomy from the state. Some such hierarchical arrangements are economic (free trade areas, customs unions, common markets), others are military (ententes, formal alliances, confederations). In this paper, I explore recent integrative moves (Single European Act, Maastricht Treaty) within the European Community. I begin with the conceptualization of a continuum of cooperative economic arrangements with different degrees of bindingness. Setting my argument in the context of traditional explanations I then claim that realism barely recognizes such hierarchical arrangements and that it is inadequate to explain them. Thereafter, I examine the classical argument for the emergence of larger entities, that of economies of scale, and stress that it explains size rather than "bindingness." Recognizing that the solution for hierarchy amidst market anarchy in economics is transaction costs, I then use this insight to develop an autonomous interest-based explanation for cooperative governance structures in international politics.
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