Re-engaging grand theory : European integration in the 21st century

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Series Details No 43, 2018
Publication Date 01/01/2018
ISSN 1028-3625
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This paper engages three theories—neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism, and postfunctionalism—that have their intellectual roots in the study of European integration in the past century. The purpose of this paper is to assess their use value for explaining EU developments in the 21st century. We briefly describe the genesis of each school and outline what is distinctive about its approach in relation to four landmark events: the Eurocrisis, the migration crisis, Brexit, and illiberalism. We conclude that each provides a distinctive framework that disciplines thinking about key actors, arenas, and causal mechanisms.

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