The dynamics of institutional behaviour in EU justice and home affairs: roles, representative claims, and varying policy positions

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Series Details Vol.40, No.2, February 2018, p161-176
Publication Date February 2018
ISSN 0703-6337
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This article investigates the reasons behind varying institutional positions in the European Union’s (EU) area of justice and home affairs (JHA). It argues that such instances of institutional behaviour cannot be fully understood without examining how each institution seeks to legitimize its role in the EU political system.

A novel theoretical framework on institutional behaviour is advanced, connecting individual policy positions and governance choices to (1) institutional roles developed within different types of organizational structure, and (2) the representative claims made by officials involved in decision-making. The framework draws on insights from organizational theory regarding institutional role expectations and a constructivist approach to representation borrowed from the work of Michael Saward.

Using three cases of JHA legislation from the post-Lisbon period, it is shown that the framework can explain varying patterns of institutional behaviour by exploring lines of justification present in the institutional discourse.

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