Reflexive Integration in Europe
This paper discusses the usefulness of reflexive reason-giving as an approach to transnational and supranational systems of governance. It is argued that deliberation must be supplemented with law and trust as resources for collective action.
Erik Oddvar Eriksen
Integration may occur through coercion and intergovernmental bargaining - through blackmail, tradition, functional adaptation, copying, diffusion or exit - but it may also occur through reflexive reason-giving and entrenched commitments. The usefulness of such an approach to transnational and supranational systems of governance is due to the fact that such entities lack compliance mechanisms such as majority vote and a collective identity. I find however that deliberation has to be supplemented with law and trust as resources for collective action. Problem-solving as a decision-making mechanism needs to be complemented with institutionalised forms of collective goal attainment and impartial conflict resolution. This constitutes the basis for delineating four stylized polity models of the EU.
This paper has later been published in E.O. Eriksen (ed.) Making the European Polity. Reflexive integration in the EU (London: Routledge, 2005).