European Integration in the Light of the Antebellum US Experience
Drawing on international relations theory, law and historical analysis, this book compares European integration with the antebellum USA to assess what makes the EU viable despite contestation over the rules of the game of integration. It reveals that changing the system of representation is no shortcut solution for the EU's constitutional woes.
This book is distinguished by its use of the antebellum US experience as a foil to address the under-explored question of what makes the EU viable. The nature of political conflict in both cases is defined in terms of four contested rules of the game: state sovereignty, federal competences, political representation and decision-making procedures. Hence, viabilty is conceptualized as the ability to find an agreement over these four elements. The analysis shows that, to remain viable, the antebellum USA resorted to an ultimately untenable voluntary centralization of these rules of the game. Conversely, the EU has maintained a dynamic equilibrium, although this is not a self-reinforcing process. The transatlantic contrast is then used to examine proposals for reforming the EU, especially its system of political representation. The comparison reveals that, despite high expectations, changing the system of representation is no shortcut solution for the EU's constitutional woes.
Acknowledgements Introduction: Questioning What Makes the EU Viable The Problem of Viability in a Compound Polity Developing an Analogical Comparison between the EU and the Antebellum US Republic Comparing how the Rules of the Game are Contested The Struggle to Maintain a Compound System: Creating and Contesting the Rules of the Game in European Integration Contrasting and Explaining the Viability of Two Compound Systems The Future Evolution of the EU Compound Polity: The Obstacles to Voluntary Centralization Conclusion: Implications for EU Studies and the Debate over the Future of Integration Notes Bibliography Index