Liberal Intergovernmentalism and the Crises of the European Union

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Series Details Volume 56, Number 7, Pages 1578-1594
Publication Date November 2018
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The Euro, Schengen and Brexit crises pose important explanatory challenges to liberal intergovernmentalism (LI). In contrast with the historical context in which LI originated, they have threatened existing integration regimes with disintegration in a highly politicized domestic environment. How relevant does LI remain under these circumstances in comparison with its neofunctionalist and postfunctionalist competitors?

A comparative analysis of the three crises shows that LI offers only a partial explanation of national preference formation in the crises. As a static theory, it fails to take into account endogenous preferences that may result from path-dependence (in the euro crisis) or politicization (in the Brexit crisis). By contrast, LI provides a convincing and indispensable analysis of intergovernmental bargaining.

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This journal article is part of a Special Issue titled Liberal Intergovernmentalism and its Critics.

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