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A living legislature: The EP as an ordinary legislator

Roederer-Rynning, Christilla and Greenwood, Justin (2015) A living legislature: The EP as an ordinary legislator. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    Introduction: “What role do norms play in political change, whose norms matter, and how do we know they matter?” These questions have come back on the research agenda of political science and international relations scholars in the last two decades (March and Olsen 1989; Krasner 1988; Ruggie 1993; Finnemore and Sikkink 1998). As norms have regained a prominent place on the research agenda, calls have emerged to explore more systematically the link between social context and rationality (Finnemore and Sikkink 1998). Scholars from various theoretical traditions have highlighted the possibility of cooperation between rationalist and sociological-constructivist paradigms and have outlined research strategies and methodological approaches (Jupille, Caporaso and Checkel 2003). This paper explores possibilities of cooperation between rationalist and sociological insights by examining the institutionalization of legislative powers in the European Parliament (EP). By this, we refer to the social processes unfolding as the EP goes from being a de jure legislator (in virtue of its constitutional empowerment in successive EU treaties), to becoming a living legislator (in virtue of its everyday engagement in EU ordinary legislation subject to the so-called co-decision procedure). Between 1994 and 2014, the number of policy areas constitutionally subject to co-decision was multiplied by five, putting the EP on par with the Council of Ministers (‘Council’) in a broad range of domains ranging from highly redistributive types of policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy to technically arcane policies in the domain of financial regulation and harmonization. During the course of the 7th term, the EP had passed 488 legislative acts under co-decision (European Parliament, 2014a). In legislating, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) develop and mobilize a collection of norms, which regulate their collective behavior while infusing it with purpose. In this paper, we are interested in tracing and explaining this developing body of norms, drawing on the rich theoretical scholarship on norms.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 16:35
    Number of Pages: 23
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 16:35

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