A Multi-level Approach to Differentiated Integration: Distributive Policy, National Heterogeneity and Actors in the European Research Area
By examining the case of the European Research Area, the authors document patterns of differentiated integration across governance levels and discuss how a number of factors shape these patterns.
Tatiana Fumasoli, Åse Gornitzka and Benjamin Leruth
This paper argues that differentiated integration can be understood more thoroughly by using a multi-level approach that conceives of the nation state as an aggregate of partly autonomous subunits and actors. The participation of such components in European integration is influenced by a combination of type of policy through which integration is pursued, national heterogeneity, their loosely coupledness within national systems. By examining the case of the European Research Area, we document patterns of differentiated integration across governance levels and discuss how the following factors shape these patterns: the competitive nature of the European distributive instruments, stark variation in national and sub-national material conditions and in the governance of national research systems, as well as the normative and cognitive factors specific to the research policy sector. The conceptual and policy-based implications to the debate on European differentiated integration are discussed.