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Kelemen-Menon-Slapin_WiderAndDeeper - Wider and Deeper...

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Wider and Deeper? Enlargement and Integration in the European Union R. Daniel Kelemen Rutgers University Anand Menon University of Birmingham Jonathan Slapin University of Houston Paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Seattle, September 1-4 2011 Comments welcome. Draft only, not for citation.
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Introduction The potential impact of widening – the enlargement of the EU to include additional member states – on deepening – increasing the scope and strength of the EU’s powers – is a central concern of many EU scholars and of many public debates about the future of the EU. 1 While the relationship between widening and deepening has been recognized for many years as one of the ‘big questions’ in the field of European integration, most analysis of this relationship remains ad hoc, atheoretical and based on the recitation of dubious ‘common wisdoms’ – above all the assumption that widening impedes deepening. Early enlargements spawned fears that the functioning of EU institutions would be adversely affected as a result. By the time of the enlargement of 1995 to Austria, Finland and Sweden, and with the prospect of eastern enlargement on the horizon, ‘it became fashionable to put the future of the European Union in terms of a dilemma between "deepening" and "widening"’ (De Witte, 2002: 239). The notion that widening should impede deepening has intuitive appeal and has found some resonance in the theoretical literature. Adding new member states would seem likely to increase the diversity of preferences within the EU and to increase the chance of gridlock in collective decision-making processes. As Philippe Schmitter remarked, “the sheer number of prospective members […] threatens to overwhelm the European institutions” (Schmitter 1998: 141). Or as Jan Zielonka put it, “one does not need to be a disciple of Max Weber to acknowledge that ambitious projects of political, economic and military integration can only work in a relatively homogenous environment” (Zielonka 2001: 515). These claims find some theoretical support in the international relations literature on multilateral cooperation and collective action problems (Downs and Rocke 1995, Downs, Rocke and Barsoom 1998; Stone, Slantchev and London 2008; Kahler 1992; Olson 1965). This line of reasoning suggests that, as the number of member states increases, the diversity of member state preferences is likely to increase, making it more difficult to agree on common policies and institutional reforms and more difficult to sustain collective action and produce public goods more generally. And yet, if we consider the EU’s history, it would seem that widening has not impeded deepening and may actually have facilitated it. Likewise, if we look - as we do below - at the experience of international organizations or of federal or quasi-federal political systems, there is little evidence of a trade-off between widening and deepening. What then is the actual relationship between widening and deepening in the EU? If
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Kelemen-Menon-Slapin_WiderAndDeeper - Wider and Deeper...

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