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Downloaded By: [CDL Journals Account] At: 18:28 9 January 2008 Journal of European Public Policy 4:3 September 1997:297-317 European integration and supranational governance Alec Stone Sweet and Wayne Sandholtz ABSTRACT We argue that European integration is provoked and sustained by the development of causal connections between three factors: transnational exchange, supra- national organization, and European Community (EC) rule-making. We explain the transition, in any given policy sector, from national to intergovernmental to supra- national governance, in two ways. First cross-border transactions and communications generate a social demand for EC rules and regulation, which supranational organizations work to supply. We thus expect that Community competences will be unevenly constructed, both across policy sectors and over time, as a function of the intensity of these demands. Second, once EC rules are in place, a process of institutionalization ensues, and this process provokes further integration. Although we recognize the importance of intergovernmental bargaining in EC politics, our theory is not compatible with existing intergovernmental theorizing. KEY WORDS Governance; institutionalization; integration; neo-functionalism; transnational society. In this article, we propose a theory of European integration, focusing on the process through which supranational governance - the competence of the EC 1 to make binding rules in any given policy sector - has been constructed. We necessarily confront some of the most puzzling questions posed by the evolution of the Community. Why has integration proceeded more rapidly in some policy domains than it has in others? To what extent is the Community governed by 'inter- governmental' or 'supranational' modes of decision-making? What accounts for the relative dominance of the neo-liberal project, and for the relative failure of social democratic visions of Europe to gain influence ? We do not claim to have definitively settled all controversy. But our theory yields responses to these questions, in the form of testable propositions, and intensive research has demonstrated the resilience of these propositions in a wide range of contexts. The article also reports the results of a collaborative research project, recently completed, on European integration and its impact on policy-making. 2 Brought together by a common concern for processes of history and institutionalization, and by a common dissatisfaction with 'intergovernmental' theories, the group set © 1997 Routledge 1350-1763
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Downloaded By: [CDL Journals Account] At: 18:28 9 January 2008 298 A. Stone Sweet and W. Sandholtz out to develop a framework - a common vocabulary and heuristic - for understanding the dynamics of European integration. We then worked to trans- form this framework into a theory, by developing and testing causal arguments in a range of comparative case studies. Most important, we sought to explain the process through which supranational governance has emerged, widened, and deepened over time, in and across specific policy sectors. The theory privileges the role of transnational exchange (e.g. trade, the develop-
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 790 395 taught by Professor Tillery during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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