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"Time and European Governance: An Inventory"

Meyer-Sahling, Jan-Hinrik. (2007) "Time and European Governance: An Inventory". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. This paper examines conceptual issues in the study of time and European governance. It briefly outlines the main themes in the study of time, temporality and European governance and then turns to an exploration of various conceptual dimensions that are discussed in the literature on the politics of time, the literature on the sociology of time and research on time in organisations and management. The aim is first of all to run an inventory of usages of time and temporality in the social science literature in order to prepare the ground for the identification of key questions and for the conceptualisation of the temporality of European governance, in particular, the temporality of Enlargement and Europeanisation.1 The paper suggests that there is relatively little research in the area of European governance that is genuinely interested in the concept of time and how it matters for European governance. Research that explicitly refers to time tends to use it as a methodological device rather than as a variable that affects political outcomes. Yet, there are only few attempts to conceptualise time as a variable for the study of European governance (an important exception is Ekengren 2002). In many respects, this state of affairs is surprising. The work by Schedler and Santiso (1998), Linz (1998), and Schmitter/Santiso (1998) on democratic politics suggests that issues of time, timing and tempo matter a great deal for the quality of democracy and for political outcomes more generally. Moreover, practitioners seem to be often much more concerned with aspects of temporality than academics, in that they pay particular attention to when things happen, how much time they have, what time horizons prevail, and how aspects of temporality can be intelligently used in the context of their institutions (e.g. Avery 2007, Onestini 2007, Tholoniat 2007). Most of this paper therefore explores how aspects of time and temporality are used in the areas of sociology, organisations and management in order to get inspiration for the study of time and European governance. The discussion here identifies six areas of distinction including the distinction between time as a variable and time as a methodological device; time as an independent and dependent variable; various dimensions of temporality ranging from the analysis of sequences and cycles to the analysis of synchronisation patterns and time boundaries; levels or forms of temporality such as time rules and time discourses; conceptions of time such as clock time and social time; and theoretical approaches to temporality which provide the toolkit for the development of causal mechanisms for the explanation of the origins and consequences of temporal orders and processes in the area of European governance. The discussion concludes that aspects of temporality play a much more prominent role in European governance than hitherto appreciated. There are therefore many grounds to further develop the concept of time and to investigate in more detail the specifics of the time in the context of European governance.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology; organisations; management.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    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: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 May 2008
    Page Range: p. 21
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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