The Mosaic of Europeanization. An Organizational Perspective on National Re-contextualization

Drawing on institutional theory and sociology, this paper attempts to explain the contradictory trends in EU integration and implementation. Divergence between different sectors and countries is perceived as reflecting organizational dynamics and national re-contextualisation, both insufficiently explained by traditional theories of integration.

ARENA Working Paper 11/2004 (pdf)

Svein S. Andersen

EU-integration is increasing in scope, depth and geographical space. It affects virtually all aspects of policy-making in EU member states. However, at the national level the impact varies widely across countries and sectors. This duality is likely to increase with the enlargement to the East. How can this contradictory picture be accounted for, and what does it imply for our understanding of European integration? The article proposes an organizational perspective on national re-contextualization, drawing upon institutional theory in sociology. It challenges integration theory as well as theories that try to explain different impact at the national level. First, a major part of EU-level integration does not always reflect rational or functional needs for increased efficiency. Second, a major part of integration taking place on the national level is outside the scope of traditional theories of integration. Third, consequently convergence and divergence are not necessarily opposites. And, fourth, degree of initial match or mismatch, or fit, is not a good indicator of, or explanation for, convergence or divergence.

Tags: institutionalism, integration theory, organization theory, Europeanization, administrative adaptation
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM