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A critical assessment of the concept of europeanization in light of the state of the Union

[journal article]

Coman, Ramona; Crespy, Amandine

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Abstract This article engages with a reflexive and critical assessment of Europeanization and addresses conceptual, methodological and empirical issues related to the ways of knowledge in explaining and understanding the impact of the EU. It argues that, although it has generated an important amount of very valuable empirical research, its relevance as a specific concept is limited in two respects. The argument of this article is twofold. First, the conceptual debates in the Europeanization literature lead to the conclusion that Europeanization describes a general phenomenon of transformation and modernization, i.e a general explanandum rather than a specific explanans. Second, methodological biases have led many scholars to overestimate the impact of EU integration. Whereas short-term institutional adjustment can be easily demonstrated, the structural impact of EU integration on its Member States deserves more attention. We address the democratization of Central and Eastern Europe and the debt crisis in Southern Europe as two empirical examples for discussing the shortcomings of the central hypotheses and methodologies of the Europeanization literature.
Keywords Europeanization; methodology; impact; democratization; macroeconomics; market mechanism; European integration; transformation; modernization; Eastern Europe; Southern Europe; indebtedness
Classification European Politics
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 9-28
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 14 (2014) 1
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works