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Sterile Debates and Dubious Generalisations: European Integration Theory Tested by Telecommunications and Electricity

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Schmidt,  Susanne K.
Institutioneller Wandel im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schmidt, S. K. (1996). Sterile Debates and Dubious Generalisations: European Integration Theory Tested by Telecommunications and Electricity. Journal of Public Policy, 16(3), 233-271. doi:10.1017/S0143814X00007765.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-59BE-F
Abstract
Analyses of European integration processes are still dominated by the dichotomous debate between intergovernmentalism and suprana-tionalism. Sides are often taken in this debate based on very case-specific empirical findings. An analysis of two cases, European telecommunications and electricity policy, illustrates how misleading such generalisations can be. The former case is often used to support supranational claims, while the latter highlights the importance of intergovernmental vetos. However, further analysis reveals the very parallel supranational policy approach of the European Commission to both sectors and the resulting weakness of the dominant interpretation. An analysis using a multilevel governance approach to European integration can avoid these difficulties.