ARENA Working Papers
WP 01/2


The Many Faces of Europeanization


Johan P. Olsen


Europeanization - a fashionable

term, but is it useful?

"Europeanization" is a fashionable but contested concept. The term is used in a number of ways to describe a variety of phenomena and processes of change. No shared definition has emerged and definitions are often delimited to a specific article or book chapter (B�rzel 1999: 574, Bulmer and Burch 2001: 75, Checkel 2001a: 180). Because "Europeanization" has no single precise or stable meaning, it has been argued that the term is so unwieldy that it is futile to use it as an organizing concept (Kassim 2000: 238). [1]


Still, it may be premature to abandon the term. This is so because most studies are of recent origin and because there have been few systematic attempts to map and compare different uses of the term. Efforts to model the dynamics of "Europeanization" are scarce and the empirical evidence uneven and often contested. Therefore, rather than rejecting the term outright, I make an attempt to create a little more order in a disorderly field of research. The issue raised is not what Europeanization "really is", but whether and how the term can be useful for understanding the dynamics of the evolving European polity. That is, how it eventually may help us give better accounts of the emergence, development and impacts of a European, institutionally-ordered system of governance.


The current debate over �the future of Europe� is to a large extent about how Europe should be governed and how the basic institutions of governance should be organized. A working assumption of this paper is that the transformation of the European political order may be fruitfully studied as changes in and among key institutions and identities. Furthermore, it is assumed that Europeanization is not a unique process and a sui generis phenomenon. Rather, Europeanization is conceptualized in a way that makes it (in principle) possible to compare European dynamics with the dynamics of other systems of governance. Radical and durable changes in the constitutive characteristics and basic principles for the political organization of Europe are seen as important examples of how political orders and systems of governance in general originate and how they are maintained and change.


I proceed by, first, separating different phenomena called "Europeanization"; that is, what is changing. [2] Then I suggest some processes of institutional change that may be helpful for understanding how Europeanization takes place. An institutional perspective is used in a modest attempt to approach the why-question and to suggest some research challenges. Connecting the different phenomena called Europeanization to the different mechanisms by which Europeanization is brought about, is a major challenge for those aspiring to theorize European institutional dynamics. I suggest some small steps in that direction. [3]


The argument is that the different conceptions of Europeanization complement, rather than exclude each other. They refer to different, but related phenomena. It is also argued that the dynamics of Europeanization can be understood in terms of a limited set of ordinary processes of change. The processes are complementary, not exclusive, and they are well known from other institutionalized systems of governance (March 1981). Furthermore, the European case illustrates how mundane processes can produce an extraordinary outcome.


One conclusion is that while it may be premature to abandon the term Europeanization, its usefulness may be somewhat more limited than its widespread use could indicate. Another conclusion is that the empirical complexity and conceptual confusion should lead not to despair, but to renewed efforts of modeling the dynamics of European change. An immediate challenge is to develop partial, middle-range theoretical approaches that emphasize domains of application or scope conditions and that are empirically testable. A long-term challenge is to provide a better understanding of how different processes of change interact and make institutions co-evolve through mutual adaptation.


Europeanization: what, how, why?

A first step towards understanding Europeanization is to separate the different phenomena referred to by the term, that is, what is changing. I distinguish between five possible uses:


- Europeanization as changes in external territorial boundaries. This involves the territorial reach of a system of governance and the degree to which Europe as a continent becomes a single political space. For example, Europeanization is taking place as the European Union expands its boundaries through enlargement.


- Europeanization as the development of institutions of governance at the European level.This signifies center building with a collective action capacity, providing some degree of political coordination and coherence. Formal-legal institutions and a normative order based on some overarching constitutive principles, structures and practices both facilitate and constrain the ability to make and enforce binding decisions and to sanction non-compliance.


- Europeanization as central penetration of national and sub-national systems of governance. Europeanization here involves the division of responsibilities and powers between different levels of governance. All multilevel systems of governance need to work out a balance between unity and diversity, central coordination and local autonomy. Europeanization, then, implies adapting national and sub-national systems of governance to a European political center and European-wide norms.


- Europeanization as exporting forms of political organization and governance that are typical and distinct for Europe beyond the European territory. Europeanization here concerns relations with non-European actors and institutions and how Europe finds a place in a larger world order. Europeanization, then, signifies a more positive export/import balance as non-European countries import more from Europe than vice versa and European solutions exert more influence in international fora.


- Europeanization as a political project aiming at a unified and politically stronger Europe.The degree to which Europe is becoming a more important political entity is related both to territorial space, center building, domestic adaptation, and how European developments impact and are impacted by systems of governance and events outside the European continent. A complication, however, is that there is not necessarily a positive correlation between the four types of Europeanization mentioned above, and between each of them and a politically stronger Europe.


The next step, then, is to suggest a possible way of understanding institutional change and continuity in the current European context. Here, institutional change is seen as depending on a limited number of processes that are ordinary and not mutually exclusive, that produce a variety of outcomes under shifting circumstances (March 1981). [4] Political institutions and the social agents embedded within them, respond in routine ways to changing opportunities and challenges. For example, change may be a result of rule following and the application of standard operating procedures to appropriate situations. It may be an outcome of problem solving and calculating expected consequences, or of conflict resolution and confrontations. Change may also be produced through experiential learning or competitive selection, contact and diffusion, or turnover and regeneration.


Within this perspective, an account of how Europeanization takes place requires an understanding of the structure and dynamics of each change process. For analytical purposes (models of) processes can be kept separate. In the real world, however, most of the time there will be complex mixes of processes. While one process or mechanism may fit a particular phenomenon or situation better than the others, there is no reason to generally expect a one-to-one relationship between a phenomenon and a process or mechanism of change.


Still, for each of the five phenomena called Europeanization above I suggest one or two processes that may be fruitful as a starting point, before attending to some complications of using them. For example, changes in territorial reach and Europeanization as enlargement is interpreted as rule application. The development of institutions of governance at the European level is understood as purposeful decision-making. Changes in domestic systems of governance are examined within the framework of two basic processes of adaptation: experiential learning and competitive selection. Furthermore, Europeanization as export of a European model of political organization is interpreted as a process of diffusion. Finally, it is suggested that Europeanization as political unification and strengthening involves institutional mutual adaptation. A multitude of institutions and actors co-evolve as they adapt to each other. They change the organizational setting for each other's adaptation as they find a place in the changing political world order.

Identifying processes and mechanisms useful for understanding Europeanization is a step towards identifying conditions that make each frame of interpretation more or less relevant. In this paper, I have modest aspirations when it comes to exploring why various processes of change may be useful. However, an institutional perspective, like the one used here, highlights the significance of existing institutional structures, histories and dynamics for understanding political transformations. [5] Institutions and identities are relatively stable elements of political life. Within the Westphalian political order, for example, territoriality and peoplehood have for quite some time been two basic principles of political organization, group formation and identification in Europe (Borneman and Fowler 1997). Concepts like "historical inefficiency" and "path dependence" also suggest that established institutions do not always adapt quickly to changes in human purposes and external conditions (March and Olsen 1989, 1995, North 1990). Yet, an institutional perspective does not imply stasis. Enduring institutions can be remarkably adaptive, responding to volatile environments routinely, though not always optimally (March 1981).


Major change in the relations among key institutions is likely to both reflect and affect power relations, in Europe as well as globally. Post-war European cooperation was initiated by a devastating war and major European powers lost their world hegemony. Now, Europe is in a period of exploration and innovation. Talk of Europeanization, like talk of Americanization (Jacoby 2001), is likely to occur when there are possible shifts in relations of dominance. That is, when there is a willingness and possibly an ability to challenge an established hegemony and win back a more central role at the global scene. This suggests that the consensus- and efficiency-seeking frame often found in EU documents has to be supplemented by an interest in the power aspect of European transformations. However, attention to the power aspect also includes attention to the limitation of purposive, arbitrary intervention in the existing order. In complex and dynamic contexts like the European one, purposeful actors may influence the processes and structures within which change takes place. Yet, no single group of decision makers is likely to have the insight, authority and power to design and reform institutions at will and achieve pre-specified objectives.


I am interested in how existing institutional arrangements impact on two key dimensions of institutional change (March and Olsen 1995, Olsen 1997a, 2001). First, are changes in political organization: the development of an organizational and financial capacity for common action and governance through processes of reorganization and redirecting of resources. Second, are changes in structures of meaning and peoples' minds. That is, focus is on the development and redefinition of political ideas - common visions and purposes, codes of meaning, causal beliefs and worldviews - that give direction and meaning to common capabilities and capacities.


The changing boundary of �Europe�

A discussion of the ways in which European space may be politically organized and governed presupposes that Europe as a geographical concept, the external boundary of Europe as a space or territory, can be delimited and defined (J�nsson, T�gil and T�rnqvist 2000: 7). In the literature, however, "Europe" is used in a variety of ways. Recently it has become common, both in the scholarly literature and in public documents, to use "Europe" with reference to the European Union and its member states. [6]

Certainly, European transformations are not limited to the EU and its member states or to Western Europe. Cross-border relations have been, and are, managed through a variety of transnational regimes and institutions besides the EU (Wallace 2000). There are many examples of institution-building at the European level. Furthermore, there has also been an increase in non-territorial forms of political organization, and the meaning and importance of geographical space has changed with the growth of functional networks without a center of final authority and power (Stone Sweet and Sandholtz 1998, Kohler-Koch and Eising 1999, J�nsson, T�gil and T�rnqvist 2000). Therefore, an adequate understanding of the ongoing transformations requires attention to other European transnational institutions, regimes and organizations as well as non-member states. Still, the European Union has been most successful in terms of institutionalizing a system of governance that includes a large, and increasing, part of the continent. The EU is currently the core political project in Europe and the example most often analyzed in the literature on Europeanization. The Union will also be the main frame of reference for this paper.


For the European Union and its forerunners, enlargement has been a recurrent process. The Union has turned out to be attractive for most European states and the list of applicant countries is still long. How, then, can we account for the dynamics of expansion? More specifically, why have the member states accepted new members (Schimmelfennig 2001, Sedelmeier 2001, Sjursen 2001b)?


Consider rule following. Change here is normatively driven. Action is obligatory, derived through a process of the interpretation of an identity, codes of conduct and the obligations and rights following from them in different situations (March and Olsen 1989).Change may be seen as quasi-mechanical, that is, as following from the routine application of stable criteria for entry and the execution of standard operating procedures to pre-specified situations. If an applicant country meets the criteria of membership, it is admitted. If not, the door is closed. In less automatic situations the underlying process may be one of arguing and persuading. Actors appeal to a shared collective identity and the implications of the identity. They evoke common standards of truth and morals and change follows asnormative or factual beliefs change.


Part of the research challenge is to account for why some identities and obligations are activated and others are not. For example, criteria of access to the EU may be liberal-democratic, implying that the Union will admit countries that reliably adhere to some universal and impartial criteria in their domestic and international conduct (Schimmelfennig 2001). Criteria may be institution-specific and related to the principles on which an institution is founded, such as the Copenhagen declaration of 1993. Or they may take the form of a moral imperative based on a general sense of �kinship-based� duty, that is, belonging to a specific political community (Sjursen 2001b).This way of reasoning is illustrated when actors argue that Europe has an historic opportunity to�reunify Europe� after decades of artificial separation (Notre Europe 2001). Furthermore, interpretations of obligations may also be history specific. For example, Sedelmeier argues that, during the cold war, EU policy-makers constructed a specific role, which implied a responsibility for the EU towards the Central and Eastern European countries (the CEECs). Such commitments were unevenly distributed across policy makers, yet they had important impacts on the enlargement process(Sedelmeier 2001).


It is commonplace to observe that the EU agreed to enlargement without precise calculation of the consequences, including the costs and required changes for member states. There was no guarantee that the benefits of each member state would outweigh their costs. In brief, enlargement cannot be seen purely as the result of a strategic choice where member states are maximizing their expected utility. However, it is also commonplace to observe that participants in the enlargement process are concerned with costs and benefits and that they bargain in the defense of self-interest and economic and security gains (Schimmelfennig 2001, Sedelmeier 2001, Sjursen 2001b).


What, then, are the mechanisms through which identities and norms have an impact? Do actors use identities and norms genuinely or instrumentally? Schimmelfennig (2001) argues primarily within a logic of self-interested calculation rather than a logic of appropriateness. The enlargement process is characterized by strategic use of norm-based arguments and appeals to democratic identities and values. Member states have been rhetorically entrapped and have to support enlargement in order to save their reputation as Community members. Strategic behavior is constrained by the constitutive ideas of the Community and the actors� prior identification with the Union. In comparison, Sedelmeier (2001: 184) is more open to whether identities and norms are used genuinely or instrumentally. He observes that there are simultaneous processes of enactment and definition of the EU�s identity. Finally, Sjursen(2001b) emphasizes the genuine role of internalized norms. Norms constitute the identity of actors, not only regulating their behavior. Decisions are made as actors reason together and assess the moral validity of arguments (Sjursen 2001b).


Many EU documents portray enlargement as consistent with liberal-democratic principles, Community values as well as the interests of existing members and applicant countries (Commission 2001b). For scholars aspiring to theorize Europeanization such harmony cannot be assumed. It is important to understand the relations and possible tensions between a logic of appropriateness and norm- driven behavior and a logic of calculation and expected utility under varying circumstances. Actors often follow rules. Yet, they are also often aware of the consequences of rule-driven behavior. And sometimes they may not be willing to accept the consequences of following rules. In some situations one identity and norm-set may be dominant and provide clear normative imperatives. In other situations there may be many competing identities, giving vague guides of action. Likewise, interests and means-end understandings may be clear or obscure. One possibility is that a clear logic of action will dominate a less clear logic. Another alternative is that learning over time will produce rules and norm-driven action, while highly unfavorable consequences will make existing rules suspect and activate a logic of calculation (March and Olsen 1998). A third possibility is that different logics are relevant for different issues. For example, enlargement may be decided through application of basic norms, while the distribution of the costs of enlargement may be decided through self-interested calculation and bargaining.


Developing European-level institutions

Many scholars portray Europeanization as the institutionalization at the European level of a distinct system of governance with common institutions and the authority to make, implement and enforce European-wide binding policies. This view is illustrated by Risse, Cowles and Caporaso who define Europeanization as:


"the emergence and development at the European level of distinct structures of governance, that is, of political, legal, and social institutions associated with the problem solving that formalize interactions among the actors, and of policy networks specializing in the creation of authoritative European rules" (Risse, Cowles and Caporaso 2001: 3).


Europeanization here includes both the strengthening of an organizational capacity for collective action and the development of common ideas, like new norms and collective understandings regarding citizenship and membership (Checkel 2001a: 180). [7]


A possible frame for understanding the dynamics and outcomes of European-level institutional development is purposeful choice. Within this frame, which is used by intergovernmentalists in particular, a group of actors has a choice among alternative forms of organization and governance. They have normative criteria that make it possible to discriminate between available alternatives and their outcomes. They choose the one that, according to its inherent properties or expected effects, is assessed as most valuable. Institutional developments, then, are seen as reflecting the will, power and understanding of identifiable actors. The research challenge is to identify the relevant actors and the motivations and forces that determine their choices.


In a problem-solving mode objectives are shared and institutional change is the outcome of voluntary agreements among the relevant actors. The challenge for institutional architects is to discover or design forms of organization and governance that make all participants come out better than they could do on their own. For instance, the European Union is assumed to be involved in a continuous search for "the right formula for building lasting and stable institutions" in order to improve the functionality, legitimacy and credibility of the institutions of governance (Patten 2001). In this perspective, the participants first have to agree upon common objectives and substantive political programs. Then they have to develop institutional arrangements as organizational tools for their policies.


In a conflict resolution mode, change reflects the interests and beliefs of the most powerful actors, as they bargain, build coalitions, make threats or give promises based on their political, military or economic power. There is an explicit focus on the competing conceptions of European unity and forms of political organization and governance. Likewise, there is a focus on power, that is, how Europeanization reflects and modifies the ways in which political power is constituted, legitimated, exercised, controlled, and redistributed. Like other political orders, the emerging European order has to cope with tensions between unity and integration and disunity and disintegration (March and Olsen 1998). So, even when EU officials emphasize norms of consensus and voluntary cooperation and argue that "power politics have lost their influence" (Prodi 2001: 3), this perspective assumes a need to understand the power relations and cleavages shaping the new order as much as the Westphalian state order in Europe (Rokkan 1999).

While there is to a large extent agreement that the Union is "an extraordinary achievement in modern world politics" (Moravcsik 1999: 1), there is less consensus when it comes to the nature of the Union (e.g. the degree of supranationality) and the causes of its development. For instance, the importance of explicit intervention and choice in the development of European-level institutions has been contested. Intergovernmentalists emphasize institutional choices made by the governments of (the major) member states (Moravcsik 1999). A competing view is that systems of supranational governance have their roots in the European-wide transactions, group-formation and networks of transnational society, while governments primarily play a reactive role (Stone Sweet and Sandholtz 1998). An institutional approach, with an emphasis on "historical inefficiency" focuses on how the element of willed change is influenced and constrained by existing institutional arrangements (March and Olsen 1989,1995,1998, Olsen 1997 a,b). From this perspective it is expected that the significance and nature of deliberate choice depends on existing institutional configurations and that the importance of purposeful choice will change as the degree of institutionalization at the European level changes.

One possible source of improved understanding of the scope of purposeful institutional choice in contemporary Europe is to compare in a systematic way different European institution-building efforts, such as the EU, EFTA, NATO, the Nordic Council and the Council of Europe. Another option is to compare attempts of institution building within the EU. The EU has been characterized as a "non-state" and a "non-nation" (Schmitter 2000) and as �a relatively incoherent polity in institutional terms� (Caporaso and Stone Sweet 2001: 228). The Union's capacity and legitimacy for institution building has varied across institutional spheres such as competition policy, monetary affairs, external and internal security, culture etc., and the ongoing development from (primarily) market building to polity building creates a need to attend to the different dynamics of various institutional spheres and policy sectors.

Studies of state- and nation-building in Europe (Rokkan 1999) suggest four dimensions, that are relevant both for comparing institutional spheres within the EU and for comparing the Union with other European institution-building efforts:

-          Regulatory institutions: building a unified administrative and military apparatus for control of a population, a territory and its external borders, including the ability to extract resources for common tasks.

-          Socializing institutions: developing, through education and socialization, a territorial identity and a cultural community with a sense of belonging, emotional attachment and shared codes of meaning.

-          Democratic institutions: creating democratic citizenship, representative institutions, equal rights of political participation, legitimized opposition, organized parties and fora for public debate and popular enlightenment.

-          Welfare institutions: developing social and economic citizenship and rights and a community that accepts the collective responsibility for securing more equal life chances for citizens through the means of public service, reallocation of resources, and the regulation of the use of private resources.


Comparison of the different dynamics of institutional spheres and policy sectors is particularly required when institution-building is seen to involve changes in action capabilities and in identities, codes of meaning and normative criteria giving direction to capabilities. Like other political systems the EU makes efforts to justify their institutions, to develop a sense of belonging and to create emotional identification with the system among citizens. Aspirations of governance then include not only changes in behavioral regulation, opportunity and incentive structures, but also the molding of individuals and changes in mentality, causal and moral beliefs and ways of thinking. [8]


For example, EU institutions, including the Council, have taken an interest in the democratic and European dimensions of education, hoping to make young people more conscious of European ideas and of being Europeans (Beukel 2001: 131). Member states, however, have been reluctant to give the Union authority to shape the institutional framework for education and socialization. Control over educational institutions- including changes in universities (Dineen 1992, H. Olsen 1998) and in national history writing (Geyer 1989) - is a sensitive issue exactly because it is closely linked to national and sub-national identities. An implication is that students of European institutional dynamics, for theoretical as well as practical reasons, need to supplement their interest in decision-making and decision-implementing institutions, with an increased interest in the dynamics of educational and socializing institutions at the European level.

Domestic impacts of European-level institutions

The third conception of Europeanization focuses on change in core domestic institutions of governance and politics, understood as a consequence of the development of European-level institutions, identities and policies. European-level development then is treated as the explanatory factor and changes in the domestic systems of governance as the dependent variable. The research tasks are to account for variations in European impacts and to explain the varying responses and robustness of domestic institutions against pressures from the European level. The bulk of the empirical literature concerns effects of the European Union on the member states. Most often these studies focus on impacts on domestic policies and behavior. Yet, there are also studies of the scope and mode of change in domestic structures and practices, in resources and in principles of legitimating collective understandings and codes of meaning. [9] Through what processes and mechanism do European-level developments then penetrate the domestic level and produce change?


Two basic frames for analyzing Europeanization as adaptive processes are experiential learning and competitive selection. In experiential learning institutions change on the basis of experiences with, and interpretations of, how relevant actors in the environment respond to alternative forms of domestic organization and governance. Environmental actors may be indifferent to the focal domestic institution or actively promoting specific forms. They may dictate prescriptions or allow considerable discretion and local autonomy. In all cases forms and actions assessed as successful are more likely to be repeated and developed. Likewise, unsuccessful forms are more likely to be avoided. We need to understand which experiences actors are exposed to, how they interpret and assess what has happened and why, and to what degree they are able to store, retrieve and act upon such information.


In models of competitive selection, environmental imperatives are seen as driving the change process, and there is a need to understand mechanism of variation, selection and retention. Institutions and actors are fixed and their survival and growth rates depend on their performance, comparative advantages and how well they "match" their changing functional and normative environments. Only the most efficient institutions survive. The others disappear.


What, then, are the factors that influence patterns of adaptation? Which European-level institutions and actors matter? Why do some states and institutions undergo more profound change than others? What determines the responses, adaptability and robustness of domestic institutions, including their ability to ignore, buffer, redefine or exploit external European-level pressures?


From an institutional perspective we should not expect processes of experiential learning and competitive selection to always be perfect, making adaptation automatic, continuous and precise. Often adaptation is taking place in a world not easily understood or controlled. The rate of adaptation may be inconsistent with the rate of change in the environment to which the institution is adapting, and there may be no single optimal institutional response to changes in the environment (March 1981). The most standard institutional response to novelty is to find a routine in the existing repertoire of routines that can be used (March and Olsen 1989: 34). External changes are interpreted and responded to through existing institutional frameworks, including existing causal and normative beliefs about legitimate institutions and the appropriate distribution, exercise and control of power.


Differentiated responses and patterns of adaptation and institutional robustness can in particular be expected in political settings like the European one. First, because European institution building and policymaking are unevenly developed across institutional spheres and policy areas, the adaptive pressures on states and institutions vary. For instance, Jacobson suggests some hypotheses relevant for the impacts of the EU and other supra-, inter- and transnational institutions, regimes and organizations. They are more likely to have an impact and be complied with, the more precise their legal foundation; when they are based on hard law rather than soft law; when the affected parties (constituent units) have been involved in developing the arrangement; the greater the independence of their secretariat; if the secretariat is single-headed rather than multiple-headed; and the greater the financial autonomy of the institution or regime (Jacobson 2001: 20).


Second, differentiated responses are likely because the (West) European political order is characterized by long, strong and varied institutional histories, with different trajectories of state- and nation-building, resources and capabilities (Rokkan 1999). However, while some domestic actors are proud of their historic achievements and do their best to protect them, others are eager to get beyond "the burdens of the past". As a result, extensive penetration of domestic institutions by European developments is taking place in some spheres, while there are also protected spaces, stubborn resistance and non-penetration in other spheres (Wallace 1999:3, 2000:371). An implication is that we have to pay attention to how institutional spheres are affected differently and how they attend to, interpret and respond to European developments differently and in non-synchronized ways. Therefore, we also have to attend to how differently Europeanization might impact the relations and balance between the major institutional spheres of the nation-state (Olsen 1996).


In spite of a considerable number of empirical studies, there is limited agreement about the degree to which Europeanization as the development of institutions at the European level creates Europeanization in the meaning of changing domestic institutions. For instance, a veteran student of European integration asks: "Why is it that we are so ill-equipped to make compelling generalizations about how the European arena, as constituted by the European Union (EU), impacts on the member states in terms of the politics of the countries?...Why are our efforts to compare countries' experiences of EU membership so feeble"? (Wallace 1999:1).


European level arrangements have been seen as strengthening the territorial state and the state-based order and as creating more national government rather than less (Metcalfe 1994, Moravcsik 1994, Milward 1992). They have also been seen as affecting negatively the substantive problem-solving capacity of the state and reducing the role of democratic politics in society (Scharpf 1999). Furthermore, they have been seen as transforming, rather than strengthening or weakening the territorial state or the state system (Kohler-Koch 1999, Kohler-Koch and Eising 1999).


Students of government and administrative institutions observea significant and persistent shift of domestic attention, resources and personnel to European-level institutions and their decision-making cycles. There is also some convergence in patterns of attention, behavior and policy. Yet, a main finding (although with many nuances) is that there has been no revolutionary change in any of the national systems and no significant convergence towards a common institutional model, homogenizing the domestic structures of the European states. [10] No new harmonized and unified model of dealing with Union matters has emerged. EU arrangements are compatible with the maintenance of distinct national institutional arrangements and there is even reconfirmation and restoration of established national structures and practices. In sum, structural diversity persists among the core domestic structures of governance in spite of increasing contact and competition between national models. Established national patterns are resistant but also flexible enough to cope with changes at the European level. [11]


While European developments have been presented as an important reason for administrative reforms (Raadschelders and Toonen 1992:16), and as creating a need for improved domestic coordination (Kassim 2000: 236), governments and administrative systems have differentially adapted to European pressures on their own terms. That is, adaptation has reflected institutional resources and traditions, the pre-existing balance of domestic institutional structures, and also "the broader matrices of values which define the nature of appropriate political forms in the case of each national polity" (Harmsen 1999: 81). [12] Likewise, a study of ten smaller West European states - both member and non-member states - concluded that adaptations to the EU were influenced by existing institutional arrangements and traditions (Hanf and Soetendorp 1998).��


Europeanization as domestic impacts is not limited to structural and policy changes. European values and policy paradigms are also to some (varying) degree internalized at the domestic level, shaping discourses and identities (Dyson 2000 a,b, Checkel 2001a). Europeanization of foreign policy has produced shared norms and rules that are gradually accumulated, rather than being a process where interests have been fixed(Sjursen 2001a: 199-200). Likewise, common concepts of appropriate fiscal behavior, taxing and "sound" money and finance have developed at the elite level (Radaelli 1997, Dyson 2000a, Sbragia 2001: 80).


Simultaneously, among ordinary citizens, national identities are reaffirmed and there has been a revival of nationalism and ethnic-based identities that possibly represents a major source of potential resistance to Europeanization (Schlesinger 1993). While there are relatively few studies of how Europeanization contributes to molding public opinion and changing the role and significance of civil society in such processes(Venturelli 1993, Schlesinger 1992, 1993), new boundaries of solidarity have been drawn within and among organized interests (D�lvik 1997, Macey 1998). Even churches and spiritual associations have come under pressure to adapt their structures and state-church relations to the changing European context. They have been asked to "help to interpret and give meaning to the process of European unification" and their responses have been affected by different privileges and national arrangements (Jansen 2000:103,105). Likewise, there have been a limited number of studies of the adaptation of domestic politics, including changes in political cleavages, voting behavior, elections, political parties and party systems. The conclusions of such studies seem to support rather than contradict studies of governmental and administrative systems (Mair 2000, Goetz and Hix 2001, Ladrech 2001).


In sum, European-level developments do not dictate specific forms of institutional adaptation but leave considerable discretion to domestic actors and institutions. There are significant impacts, yet the actual ability of the European level to penetrate domestic institutions is not perfect, universal or constant. Adaptation reflects variations in European pressure as well as domestic motivations and abilities to adapt. European signals are interpreted and modified through domestic traditions, institutions, identities and resources in ways that limit the degree of convergence and homogenization.


As students of European dynamics are beginning to better understand the conditions for interactions between European and domestic factors, more nuance in the conclusions can be expected. So far, however, institutional learning across national borders is limited (Kassim 2000: 242, Maurer, Wessels and Mittag 2000). Competitive selection on the basis of comparative efficiency is a significant process in some sectors, like telecommunication (Schneider 2001: 78). Yet, competitive selection does not in general secure convergence towards a "best practice" and optimal instititutional forms across Europe (Harmsen 1999: 84).Goetz concludes that the literature "casts some doubt over the explanatory power of "European integration" as major force driving domestic executive change" (Goetz 2001: 220). He finds no straightforward connection between adaptive pressure and adaptive reactions and he prescribes caution in treating European integration as a major independent source of change. European-level changes are just one among several drivers of domestic change (Goetz 2001: 214-5,227).


Furthermore, a development towards, for instance, autonomous central banks (Cowles and Risse 2001:232-3) and a shared concept of "appropriate fiscal behavior" (Sbragia 2001: 80) are not solely European phenomena. Typically, transnational professions such as the economists spread predominant ideas globally. Likewise, the high intensity of competitive selection in the telecommunication sector is to a considerable extent a result of strong global pressure (Schneider 2001: 78). Changes in educational policy have been understood in terms of changes in (economic) factors outside the range of the EU (Beukel 2001: 139). There are interesting attempts to separate effects of Europeanization and globalization (Verdier and Breen 2001). Still, a major challenge is to trace changes at the domestic level back to European-level institutions, policies or events. In practice it has turned out to be difficult to isolate European effects (Radaelli 1997: 572, 2000, Bulmer and Burch 2001: 76) and to disentangle effects of European arrangements from global, national and sub-national sources of change.


Exporting European institutions

Inward looking definitions, that is, Europeanization of the continent itself, are a 20th century phenomenon(Mj�set 1997). Historically, Europeanization has been understood as the spread of forms of life and production, habits of drinking and eating, religion, language, and political principles, institutions and identities typical for Europe and unknown in the rest of the world beyond European territory. [13] The global extension of the territorial state system is just one outstanding example of European models of polity and society spreading throughout the globe, making European development a key to understanding the rest of the world (Geyer 1989: 339).


A basic frame for understanding such diffusion processes is borrowed from epidemology. When studying the spread of a form of political organization and governance through a territory and a population, focus is on questions like: What is the pattern of diffusion? How fast, how far, and to whom does it (first) spread? Does it stick, or fade away and disappear? What are the political processes through which forms of organization and governance spread? Why does a form spread? Which factors determine the rate and pattern of diffusion? In particular, what are the properties of forms that make them more or less likely to spread? Does it make a difference whether transmission happens through networks of individual contact, or through "broadcasting" and exposure to organized efforts of arguing, persuasion or indoctrination?


An institutional perspective suggests that diffusion will be affected by the interaction between outside impulses and internal institutional traditions and historical experiences. Diffusion processes are unlikely to produce perfect cloning of the prescriptions offered. What is diffused is likely to be transformed during the process of diffusion. [14]


In practice, the spread of European models of organization and governance has sometimes taken the form of colonialization, coercion and imposition. European institutions and principles have penetrated and destroyed the traditions and institutions of other continents. They have disrupted and undermined the coherence of established polities and societies and created political counter-mobilization and confrontations. However, diffusion has also taken the form of imitation and voluntaristic borrowing from a successful civilization. The receivers have copied European arrangements because of their perceived functionality, utility or legitimacy.


Because the major European states have lost their world hegemony, hierarchical command and coercion is currently less likely to be the most important process for spreading European institutions and principles outside Europe. Diffusion patterns may depend more on the exposure to and the attractiveness of European forms. Then, the issue is: Among the many, competing ideas about exemplary or appropriate political organization and governance available at the global scene, how distinct and attractive are European forms?


There is scant empirical documentation of external diffusion processes during the last few decades. Yet, the new institutionalism in sociology tends to deny that there are distinct European models of organization and governance. Instead, the lack of distinction between Europe and the rest of the world, rather than the uniqueness of European solutions, is emphasized (Meyer 2001: 238). [15] Focus is on the diffusion of global prescriptions - templates and standards of universalistic rationality and validity � spread through a global system of cultural communication (Powell and DiMaggio 1991, Meyer 1996, Andersen 2001).


The attractiveness of European prescriptions and normative standards has also been questioned. For instance, Garton Ash argues that the UK looks to the United States for inspiration. There is a fascination with American solutions and "idealized America trumps idealized Europe" (Garton Ash 2001: 12). Furthermore, the attraction of American enterprise, innovation and flexibility (Dyson 2000a) is hardly limited to the UK.


Still, Europe is in search of an identity and new political and social models (Beck et al. 2001) and Therborn claims that Europe still is the world�s major producer of ideology. Europe has limited power, yet it is a normative area that can contribute good ideas (Therborn 2001). For instance, the Lisbon process emphasized the need to formulate, defend and spread globally a European model of society, partly through a competition among different existing member state models. There is an increasing attention to European identity and to civilizational differences between Europe and the United States, illustrated by debates over federalism, the desire to combine better economic efficiency with social justice and responsibility, the use of the death penalty, the resistance against treating language and culture as commodities, new conceptions of security, environmental issues like the Kyoto agreement, etc. Currently, Europe finds itself in a new period of experimentation and innovation. Possibly, new forms of organization and governance are in the making, forms and processes of change that may inspire regional integration in other parts of the world(Tel� 2001).


Furthermore, European states are increasingly making attempts to assert themselves on the international stage through the EU. For instance, one dimension of the development of a common foreign and security policy relates to the status and role of the EU in the international system (Sjursen 2001a: 199). Generally, aspirations include making the Union an influential actor in the development of a new international order through the WTO, NATO and the United Nations, as well as in bilateral negotiations. A goal is to make the Union�s political power better reflect its economic power.


The power aspect is also observed when the European Union is seen as "Europe" and the focus is on diffusion of institutions, standards and identities within the European continent. In recent enlargement negotiations with Eastern and Central European states, phrases like "catching up" with the West, the conditionality of aid and the need to accept EU standards and forms as part of becoming member states, indicate status and power differentials. Yet, it has also been observed that leaders in the former communist states in Eastern and Central Europe are improving their ability to differentiate between those aspects that are useful for their own political purposes and those that are not. Imitation has often had a political logic distinct from faddish mimicry (Jacoby 2001: 173,190).


While coercion is not the main process of change, diffusion of forms of political organization and governance are unlikely to reflect solely the attractiveness of European templates. Diffusion processes involve the distribution of power and status. They also take place within a framework of resources and capabilities, incentives and sanctions. Resources can be used to give voice to ideas and practices, to make them more visible and to make them look more attractive. Forms supported by the resourceful are ceteris paribus more likely to spread. Therefore, we have to attend to the resources mobilized for promoting European forms in other parts of the world, as well as the resources available for non-Europeans to resist unattractive forms. In sum, students of Europeanization as the diffusion of European forms of organization and governance beyond the region have to understand the distinctiveness, attractiveness and legitimacy of European models, as well as the resources backing their diffusion. Furthermore, the shifting long-term European export-import balance of forms of organization and governance is one possible indicator of whether Europe is becoming a more or less important entity in its interaction with non-Europe.



Political unification of Europe

The fifth conception defines Europeanization as a political development making Europe a more distinct, coherent and strong political entity. [16] Sovereign states then are unified into a single political space and system of governance, a functional whole and a purposeful and resourceful actor. Coherent structural arrangements provide a strong organizational basis for concerted action inwards and outwards. The development of a European sphere for public will and opinion formation contributes to common conceptions of legitimate political organization and governance and a shared feeling of belonging, giving direction to collective action capabilities. Internal borders are weakened or removed. External borders are strengthened. There is a clear discrimination between members (citizens) and non-members (non-citizens). In sum, a fragmented European state system is unified as the boundaries of political space are extended beyond the member states.


Europeanization in the sense of (strong) political unification is not a practice already brought into existence. As an aspiration, it is partly present in some reform programs (Habermas 1998, Fischer 2000, Commission 2001a, Notre Europe 2001). Europe has a long history of unsuccessful attempts of unification (Heater 1992) and currently there are competing ideas about what political organization and system of governance is desirable, possible and likely to make Europe a stronger entity.


As of yet, there are also few agreed-upon indicators of Europeanization as political unification. A strong Europe does not simply imply maximizing territory, center building, adaptation of national and sub-national systems of governance and export of European solutions. Rather, the institutionalization of political borders, authority, power and responsibility is a delicate balancing act. For example, EU enlargement will increase the Union�s territory, population and resources. Yet, it will also create more heterogeneity and put stronger demands on the Union�s institutions of governance. A stronger center and a single hierarchical control and command system may under some circumstances make it possible to act in a more coherent way and play a more significant role in global developments. Yet, strong adaptation pressure may also generate protest and resistance from member states and others disagreeing with common policies. Likewise, vigorous adaptation of domestic systems without adequate respect for local autonomy, diversity and protection of minorities may provoke conflict and obstruction. Export of European solutions may indicate success. Yet, a successful European development may also depend on imports from other parts of the world.


Such a complex balancing act is unlikely to take the form of a single, typical and dominant process of change. Rather, a crucial aspect of Europeanization has been the dissemination of a network mode of governance characterized by complex interactions between levels and sectors(Kohler-Koch 1999). In order to understand European dynamics it is therefore likely that we will need a basic frame allowing several different types of simultaneous processes of change and a pattern of mutual adaptation among co-evolving institutions. [17]


Then the processes of institutional change discussed so far, rule application and arguing, choice, adaptation through experiential learning or competitive selection and diffusion, are seen as complementary rather than exclusive. [18] In varying combinations they are likely to be helpful in understanding contemporary ecologies of co-evolving institutions. This complexity may also explain why students of European transformations have often observed that the dynamics of change takes the form of mutual adaptation among co-evolving institutions at different levels and sectors of governance; still, they have tended to ignore the observation in their model-building efforts.

On the one hand, is has been observed that change is not unilateral. Global, European, national and sub-national processes interact in intricate ways. Typically, there is no single dominant and deterministic causal relation. Causal chains are often indirect, long and complex. Effects are difficult to identify and disentangle. Interactive processes of feedback, mutual influence and adaptation are producing interpenetration between levels of governance and institutions. [19] On the other hand, the observed complexity is often bracketed. For example, Risse, Cowles and Caporaso (2001: 12) write: "Although the causality between Europeanization and domestic structure runs in both directions, we have chosen to emphasize the downward causation from Europeanization to domestic structure". The dilemma is obvious. A focus on uni-causal relations and the language and logic of fixed dependent and independent variables, can become a strait jacket preventing an adequate theoretical and empirical analysis of European dynamics of change. However, no coherent empirical research program is possible if everything is seen as endogenous and in flux.


Current European developments may illustrate an elementary property of human beings, that they are capable of producing more complex behavior and institutions than they are capable of understanding (Lave and March 1975: 6). A world where many actors are adapting to each other simultaneously and therefore changing the context in which other actors are adapting, is a world that is difficult to predict, understand and control by any single actor or group of actors. It is difficult both to infer the proper lessons of experiences and to know what action to take (Axelrod and Cohen 1999:8).

Political leaders facing a situation where institutions evolve and unfold through an unguided process with weak elements of shared understanding and control, may trust processes of natural selection, for instance through competitive markets. Then the task of prospective leaders is to establish simple rules of fair competition and to harness complexity by protecting variation, exploration and innovation. A complementary position is to try to make institutional change a somewhat more guided process by improving the elements of shared understanding and coordination and reducing complexity. Examples would be institutional actors monitoring each other, exchanging information, introducing arrangements of consultation before decisions are made, developing shared statistics and accounts, making explicit efforts to reduce incompatibilities and redundancies, and to deliberately develop networks of contact and interaction, joint projects and common rules and institutions. An increasing institution and regime density in Europe and globally suggests that competitive markets and reforms aiming at more deliberate coordination are both parts of a changing world order.


For students of institutional dynamics, Europeanization as unification makes it necessary to rethink what are fruitful research strategies. In simple models of institutional change, action is often assumed to be a response to a fixed environment, i.e. the environment is not affected by institutional action. As argued by March (1981), the assumption is convenient, but often inconsistent with institutional realities. Assuming that institutions create their environments in part - that they are part of an ecology of interaction, control, cooperation and competition, with organized units responding to each other - complicates the model-building task considerably.


One research strategy is to design research projects that aim at specifying the scope conditions for specific processes of change, i.e. under what conditions each process is likely to be most significant for understanding European transformations. Another research strategy - and an even more challenging one - is to focus on how institutional transformation may be understood as an ecology of mutual adaptation and co-evolving institutions, including a (varying) number of interacting processes of change. Empirically, the latter research strategy implies studying how non-European, European-level, national and sub-national institutions and actors may change at the same time and in association with one another, as they try to find a place within a complex multi-layer and multi-centered system.

Understanding the new European order - ������������������

A model building, not a definitional challenge

Where does all this leave us? Is "Europeanization" generally a disappointing term to be abandoned, or is it useful for understanding the ongoing transformation of the European political order? Is it useful to subsume a variety of phenomena and change mechanisms under one term? Are we in danger of misunderstanding the process and nature of Europeanization because we misuse the term (Wallace 1999: 2)?��


Research on European transformations need not be hampered by competing definitions as long as their meaning, the phenomena in focus, the simplifying assumption behind the definitions, the models of change and the theoretical challenges involved, are clarified and kept separate. Europeanization may, however, turn out to be less useful as an explanatory concept than as an attention-directing device and a starting point for further exploration. Possibly, Europeanization as political unification will turn out to be of most interest, because this conception combines internal and external aspects of European dynamics and includes the other four meanings. It will certainly be the most challenging for those wanting to theorize European dynamics.


Students of European transformation disagree when it comes to the importance of change, what the future is likely to bring and how we may best understand institutional transformations. One reason may be that the European political order has not settled down in a new stable equilibrium. There has been significant change since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957. Yet, Europe is still in a transition period, also when it comes to the procedures by which the order itself is to be changed.


How, then, are changes in the European political order to be analyzed? In contrast to those who identify an institutional approach with strong European-level institutions (Puchala 1999), the institutional approach used in this paper predicts considerable robustness and resilience in the constituent institutions at the domestic level as well. Domestic institutional structures, and the values, norms, interests and power distributions they are embedded in, are monuments of historical battles, as well as joint problem solving and peaceful conflict resolution. Institutions should not be expected to change easily and fast except under extraordinary conditions. Historically, the territorial state has also shown itself highly adaptive when facing radical change in its environment. Compared to other forms of political organization it has been successful, for instance measured by its survival rate (Weiss 1998). Now, the territorial state's adaptive capabilities are again being tested (J�nsson, T�gil and T�rnqvist 2000: 178) and the observation of domestic structural continuity andbehavioral change is here of interest.


While conceptual clarity is of great importance also in the European context (Radaelli 2001), the research challenge is not primarily one of inventing definitions. Questions of the properties, mechanisms and explanation of European transformations should not be turned into definitional issues. The challenge is to model the dynamics of change in ways that make the simplifying assumptions behind various definitions accessible to empirical tests. The paper suggests that the way ahead lies in integrating perspectives on institutional dynamics, rather than choosing among them. There is no single grand theory of "Europeanization" that can help us understand how institutions co-evolve through processes of mutual adaptation. Nor is there a single set of simplifying assumptions about change, institutions and actors that will capture the complexity of European transformations. Yet, there exists a limited repertoire of (middle-range) models of institutional change that may he helpful for capturing European dynamics. Exploring the scope conditions of each model is a beginning. Understanding their interaction is the long-term and difficult challenge.




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[1] Warm thanks to Ulf I. Sverdrup for his cooperation during the first part of this project. I am also thankful for constructive comments from Svein S. Andersen, Peggy S. Br�nn, Simon Bulmer, James Caparaso, Jeffrey T. Checkel, Dag Harald Claes, Jon Erik D�lvik, Morten Egeberg, Beate Kohler-Koch, Ragnar Lie, James G. March, Claudio Radaelli, Helene Sjursen, Trygve Ugland, Helen Wallace and Wolfgang Wessels.


[2] At the current stage of Europeanization studies it may be useful to keep definitions parsimonious. That is, we should not put too much into definitions - for instance, not define Europeanization as an "incremental process" (Ladrech 1994, yet, in Ladrech 2001 this element of the definition is left out). In this paper it is assumed that the exact nature of the processes of change and their end results should be determined by empirical studies rather than by definition.


[3] The aspiration is not to make a comprehensive review of the different schools of thought - the theoretical frames used, the evidence presented and the conclusions drawn, or to document which of the competing frames of explanation are most useful for understanding European dynamics. For a state-of-the-art article, see Bulmer and Lequesne 2001. Search in various databases revealed few occurrences of the term prior to the 1980s. Since then "Europeanization" has become increasingly popular and from the end of the 1990s the term has been widely used.


[4] The discussion of various models of change are highly influenced by March 1981, Lave and March 1975 and March 1994, as well as more than 30 years of conversations with James G. March on these issues.


[5] Within the institutional perspective used here, "an institution can be viewed as a relatively stable collection of practices and rules defining appropriate behavior for specific groups of actors in specific situations. Such rules are embedded in structures of meaning and schemes of interpretation that explain and legitimize particular identities and the practices and rules associated with them. Practices and rules are also embedded in resources and the principles of their allocation that make it possible for individuals to enact roles in an appropriate way and for a collectivity to socialize individuals and to sanction those who wander from proper behavior" (March and Olsen 1998:948). In this paper it is not possible to discuss alternative institutional approaches to European dynamics (Schneider and Aspinwall 2001, Stone Sweet, Sandholtz and Fliegstein 2001). Furthermore, a development in organization theory and institutional theory has a parallel in the literature on International Relations. One the one hand, the interest in the interaction between domestic sources of international politics and international sources of domestic politics (Gourevitch 1978), on the other hand, the interest in how actors are constrained by institutions seen as incentive and opportunity structures, has been supplemented by an interest in the social construction and transformation of actors (Checkel 2001). As will be obvious from the text, I know, and use, the former literature more than the latter.


[6] Older debates focused on the exact dividing line between Europe and Asia and raised questions like whether Britain "is European?" (Garton Ash 2001). The two issues are different. The first is a question of territory and space. The latter concerns (as Helen Wallace has pointed out) the empirical question, whether the British are tied into mainstream continental European ways of thinking and behaving as distinct from an insular, trans-Atlantic or international orientation.

[7] As Jim Caparaso has reminded me, Europeanization was defined as institution building at the European level, yet the dependent variable in their study is the impact of European institutions on domestic institutions.


[8] When some EU-leaders argue that the Union is not trying to build a super-state or a nation (e.g. Patten 2001), such statements are also part of attempts to influence domestic constituencies - in Patten�s case British political opinion and in particular EU skeptics in his own conservative party.


[9] M�ny, Muller and Quermonne 1996, Rometsch and Wessels 1996, Hanf and Soetendorp 1998, B�rzel and Risse 2000, Maurer, Wessels and Mittag 2000, Sverdrup 2000, B�rzel 2001, Andersen and Eliassen 2001: 233, Bulmer and Burch 2001, Bulmer and Lequesne 2001, Cowles, Caporaso and Risse 2001, Goetz and Hix 2001, Knill 2001, Ladrech 2001, Radaelli 2000.


[10] Kaelble (1989), studying primarily social institutions, concluded that there had been considerable convergence in Europe in the period 1880-1980.


[11] Page and Wouters 1995, Wessels and Rometsch 1996, Christensen 1996, Egeberg and Trondal 1999, Harmsen 1999, Kassim, Peters and Wright 2000, Maurer, Wessels and Mittag 2000, Radaelli 2000, Sverdrup 2000, Bulmer and Burch 2001, Cowles and Risse 2001, Goetz 2001, Jacobsson, L�greid and Pedersen 2001, Ladrech 2001, Trondal 2001, Wessels, Maurer and Mittag 2001, Ugland 2001.


[12] For example, Harmsen observed that the Netherlands was more occupied with the perceived threat to the autonomy of civil society, and the balance between state and society, than the sovereignty of the state. In contrast, France was more interested in buffering the state against EU norms (Harmsen 1999: 105). See also, also Kassim, Peters and Wright 2000, Wallace 2000: 369-70).


[13] Kohn 1937, Weber 1947: 208,215, Mj�set 1997, Zimmer 1990.


[14] March 1981, Czarniawska and Sev�n 1996, Olsen and Peters 1996, Christensen and L�greid 2001.


[15] See however, Strang 1991. Of course, a successful diffusion of European forms of organization and governance, such as the territorial state, has over time made Europe less unique.


[16] It can be argued that there is no need for "Europeanization" in this meaning because it is synonym with "integration" and does not add anything to explaining unification (Radaelli 2000, Kohler-Koch 2000). I tend to disagree. Europeanization here involves enlarging the territory, developing new institutions of political governance and adapting existing domestic institutions into a larger coherent order, as well as exporting European institutions beyond the region. Furthermore, the concept of integration has problems of its own. Integration among a set of elementary parts may refer to (a) a structure of interdependence, (b) a structure of interaction and sociometric connectedness, and (c) a structure of meaning and consistency, in terms of shared normative and causal beliefs, emotional identification and shared political projects (March 1999: 134-5). These dimensions are not necessarily strongly correlated, even if they often are assumed to be so in the literature. The concept of Europeanization opens, for example, for empirical studies of under what conditions integration as mutual interdependence leads to integration as increased contact or as shared projects and institutions. Likewise, a variety of other combinations may be explored empirically, such as the conditions under which increased contact leads to shared projects, or shared projects leads to increased interdependence.


[17] Please observe that I talk about co-evolving institutions and not institutional co-evolution. The latter concept, as used in biology and evolutionary economics, opens a theoretical can of worms, i.e. the relationship between institutional change, development and evolution. Institutional development implies that change has a direction - that there are consistent and durable changes in political institutions and the institutional balance (Orren and Skowronek 2001). Institutional evolution in addition suggests that change tends to improve the adaptive value of institutions, in terms of performance and survival. For instance, it may be claimed that a political order becomes more civilized, democratic or provide better governance. In this paper, no attempt is made to discuss these issues in depth. Yet, the suggestion here is that processes of development and evolution should be documented empirically rather than assumed in models of European institutional dynamics.


[18] As mentioned, there are other processes, such as change through turnover and regeneration. This process is relevant both at the elite level (for example as leaders having experience from World War II are replaced with leaders without such experience) and for the population at large. Cram�s concept of �banal Europeanization� reminds us that the newborn generation is likely to be habituated to the Euro, the EU flag, EU driving licenses and passport etc. and not perceive such arrangements as new and alien.

[19] H�ritier, Knill and Mingers 1996:1, Rometsch and Wessels 1996, Kassim 2000: 257, Laffan, O'Donnell and Smith 2000: 84, 85, Wallace 2000: 370, Bulmer and Burch 2001: 178, Bulmer and Lequesne 2001, Ladrech 2001: 4.