Implications of globalization on the raison d'être of European integration

This essay investigates the conceptual and empirical links between globalization and Europeanization, tracing a common logic in contemporary developments.

ARENA Working Paper 37/2002 (html)

Ludger Kühnhardt

The term globalization appears to be the single most important buzz-word of the early 21st century for understanding and defining the current path of the world. International relations scholars, economist and historians mutually reinforce this perception of globalization as the driving force of development. In spite of the absence of a clear understanding of what globalization truly means and which definition of its character and role can claim consensus, it has achieved greater recognition than any other single word which tries to characterize the post Cold War era.This essay does not try to add another definition to the ever increasing literature on globalization - which in itself might be another symptom of globalizing trends. Rather, it will resort to the most reductionist possible understanding of globalization available in the academic literature. What will be highlighted is the link between globalization and Europeanization, referring to the processes of European integration. As noted by Peter van Ham, further European integration is also portrayed by its supporters and by many analysts as a process with historical logic, thus as inevitable and irreversible as globalization seemingly is. But what is the conceptual link between the two buzz-words? Does globalization push Europeanization or is it the other way around? Does globalization limit or broaden the prospects and ambitions of European integration? Can and will European integration put its mark on the future evolution of globalization? May it have even preceded and thus inspired globalization? This essay attempts to move forward on some of these questions.

Tags: internationalisation, Nation-state, integration theory, globalization
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2016 9:08 PM