The Organisational Dimension of Integration in the EU (and Elsewhere)

This paper outlines an organisational approach to the study of European integration; it is argued that while institutions matter in and by themselves, organisation theory may add important insights as to how individual behaviour is shaped and constrained by organisational characteristics.

ARENA Working Paper 10/2000 (html)

Morten Egeberg

To figure out what kind of polity the EU is developing into, contending approaches to European integration apply quite different criteria. This paper argues that the new institutional perspective could be strengthened considerably by specifying the organisational principles embodied in a given institutional structure. If the task is to integrate sub-territories, a highly integrated system is, in organisational terms, a system in which non-territorial organisational components have taken precedence over territorial ones at the centre. Thus, sub-territories as such are only marginally reflected in the organisational set-up at the centre. This organisational conceptualisation provides a frame of reference within which reform efforts and actual changes in the EU over time are interpreted. By examining the behavioural consequences of different organising principles it becomes relatively clear that the extent to which decision-makers might be resocialised at the EU level is highly contingent upon an institution's organisational characteristics.

Tags: organization theory, supranationalism, institutions, polity building
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM