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European Integration, Intergovernmental Bargaining, and Convergence of Party Programmes

[journal article]

Dorussen, Han; Nanou, Kyriaki

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Abstract Over the past 50 years, the European Union (EU) has dramatically increased its policy-making power. However, there remains considerable variation over time as well as across policy areas in the relative power of the EU and the member states. The variation is likely to influence EU-wide bargaining. Following the logic of bargaining games with domestically constrained actors, or two-level games, the changes in the bargaining environment may also influence party competition within the member states of the European Union. Using manifesto data for 1951–2001, this article examines convergence of party programmes across Western Europe. It is shown that European integration has increasingly constrained the range of policy platforms. Moreover, we generally find a stronger effect if and when countries are actually members of the EU. European integration bolsters programmatic convergence of Euro-friendly as well as Eurosceptic parties. However, European integration particularly influences the convergence of Eurosceptic parties in EU member states.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords intergovernmental bargaining; party competition; policy convergence; two-level game;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 235-256
Journal European Union Politics, 7 (2006) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)