Analysing the national EU policy process
in Managing Europe from home
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In borrowing heavily from the institutionalist toolbox, many existing empirical studies of Europeanisation explain the incremental and path dependent nature of domestic adaptation as a consequence of European pressures being mediated by macro-level structural characteristics of the state — primarily national institutional and procedural arrangements, and organisational or administrative cultures. In seeking to ‘add value’ to existing historical institutionalist accounts of domestic change, this chapter proposes the use of a distinctive strategic-relational network framework through which to map the boundaries of the European Union (EU) national policy-making process over time. The framework is capable of capturing the dynamism and strategic nature of change, which offers a template for evaluating the reform, and that facilitates the identification of domestic and EU-level causal factors. The chapter proposes five broad categories of independent variables: national change agents, domestic administrative opportunity structures, domestic political opportunity structures, technological change, and European integration.

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