EU compliance: Still a ‘black hole’?

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Series Details Vol.12, No.6, December 2005, p1103-1120
Publication Date December 2005
ISSN 1350-1763
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This paper assesses whether EU compliance is still a ‘black hole’, reviewing two decades of research on this topic. It is argued that the first wave of scholarship was rather eclectic in nature, suggesting numerous legal and politico-administrative explanations. The second wave focused on the goodness of fit hypothesis. As the empirical support for this hypothesis has been rather disappointing, the consensus now seems to be that domestic politics needs to enter the equation in a more explicit fashion. The current challenge is to theorize and research the exact role and effects of domestic politics on processes of compliance. In doing so, scholars are advised to pay more attention to methodological issues, such as case selection. Finally, scholarship on compliance should shed more light on the actual size of the implementation deficit, especially when it comes to application and enforcement.

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