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Survival Analysis and European Union Decision-making

[journal article]

Golub, Jonathan

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Abstract Practitioners as well as scholars of European integration have for decades debated why it takes so long for the European Union (EU) to adopt legislation and how to improve decision-making efficiency. Four studies have investigated decision-making speed using survival analysis, a particularly appropriate quantitative technique. In this paper I show that all four studies suffer from serious methodological problems that render their conclusions unreliable. I then outline where work in this area should focus, and take an initial step in this direction by fitting a methodologically more appropriate survival model to my 2002 EU decision-making data set (Golub, 2002). Substantively, the results indicate that throughout the EU's history, for the most important types of legislation, qualified majority voting (QMV) and EU enlargement have increased decision-making speed, whereas empowerment of the European Parliament and extreme preference heterogeneity amongst decision-makers have decreased it. Theoretically, formal approaches — spatial models and especially coalition theory — do a better job of explaining these results than do perspectives that privilege informal norms.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords decision-making; European Union; institutional rules; survival analysis;
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 155-179
Journal European Union Politics, 8 (2007) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)