A Comparative Political Approach to the EU Formation

Drawing on models from comparative politics, involving concepts traditionally applied to nation states formation, this paper transcends the national framework to give a systematic historical account of European integration.

ARENA Working Paper 04/2006 (pdf)

Stefano Bartolini

In this paper I relate Europeanisation to the processes of nation states formation and consolidation. The paper first offers a general framework for the historical interpretation of the integration process. It then describes that same process in analytical terms, sketching the implications of actors’ boundary transcendence. In the third section the paper relates this new constellation to the historical ‘triangles’ representing the processes of nation-state formation and internal political structuring. In the conclusion, the paper discusses the integration process in relation to different conceptions of ‘political modernity’ and in view of the different ‘political projects’ that can be pursued through it. Europeanisation is seen as a new phase of development characterised by an uneven process of territorial de-differentiation. This de-differentiation generates tensions due to the decoupling of the formerly territorially overlapping principles of identity, solidarity and legitimised decision rules within the nation state.

Tags: history, polity building, integration theory
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM