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The changing face of European policy making under Blair and Ahern
Author: Scott James

As two of the longest-serving prime ministers in Europe, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern were in power during one of the most tumultuous periods of European integration. This book offers an insight into how they responded to the demands and opportunities of European Union (EU) membership at the national level. Drawing on extensive interviews with key figures, it explores how the two leaders sought to radically reshape the EU national policy-making process in the UK and Ireland in order to further their strategic policy agendas. The book therefore asks three key questions. How did the national EU policy process change between 1997 and 2007? To what extent did the UK and Irish policy processes converge or diverge? Did the reforms enhance the projection of national policy? These empirical and comparative questions are related to broader theoretical and conceptual debates concerning Europeanisation. By employing conceptual and analytical frameworks, the book considers what these reforms tell us about the nature of the ‘EU effect’ in different member states. Do governments simply adjust to EU-level pressures for change or try to adapt strategically in order to maximise their influence? Are the changes attributable to political agency or do they derive from longer-term structural developments in Brussels?

Scott James

, location and distribution of power within government. The preceding chapter set out to develop a new strategic-projection model of Europeanisation in order to provide a firmer conceptual grounding for understanding how national policy makers adapt to the multiple demands and opportunities of European integration. This chapter instead seeks to outline a detailed analytical framework capable of capturing change within national policy-making processes. It proposes a distinctive strategic–relational network framework that aims to ‘add value’ to

in Managing Europe from home
Scott James

This book is concerned above all with the adaptation of national EU policy-making processes to the demands and opportunities of EU membership. As such the study lends itself to the burgeoning ‘Europeanisation’ literature which refocuses the attention of European studies downwards to the domestic level. Rather than provide an exhaustive review of this literature, this chapter explores the conceptual challenge posed by Europeanisation for our study. How does the current literature relate to the Europeanisation of national policy-making

in Managing Europe from home
Scott James

. By employing highly innovative conceptual and analytical frameworks, the book considers what these reforms tell us about the causal impact of European integration on national policy-making processes. How do governments try to manage and exploit the ever-changing demands and opportunities of membership? Do they simply adjust to EU-level pressures for change or try to adapt strategically in order to maximise their influence? Are the changes simply attributable to political agency or do they stem from longer-term structural developments in Brussels? These timely

in Managing Europe from home
Abstract only
Lessons for future reform
Scott James

variables such as national change agents, domestic political opportunity structures, domestic administrative opportunity structures, and technological change, as well as European integration. It proposed a highly innovative conceptualisation of Europeanisation as strategic projection, distinguishing between four distinctive modes through which change may be induced within national policy-making processes. By disaggregating the Europeanisation effect in this way, these modes help us to analyse the complex interplay of domestic and European level variables, and thus

in Managing Europe from home
Evaluating adaptation strategy
Scott James

Here we seek to take the analysis of change within national policy-making processes a stage further by addressing the second research question: how can we evaluate the impact of adaptation on the capacity of the UK and Irish governments to coordinate and project national European policy? The chapter aims to compare and critically evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the reform strategies pursed by the Blair and Ahern governments by analysing the capacity of the UK and Irish networks to coordinate EU policy, and by assessing

in Managing Europe from home
Power, accountability and democracy

Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons.

The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.

Abstract only
Alex Balch

for a more detailed analysis of the ways in which ideas and knowledge play a role in the development of policy within the supranational arena, and the ways in which soft forms of cooperation at the EU level are enhancing the European dimension of national policy-making (without necessarily Europeanising the domestic arena). Finally, and relating to the previous points on both labour migration and Europeanisation, more work is needed to develop frameworks regarding how ideas and knowledge operate in the policy process. Rather than suggesting that any of the

in Managing labour migration in Europe
Open Access (free)
The German model of federalism
Arthur B. Gunlicks

districts responsible for schools, public housing, airports, parks, sewerage, public transport, etc., and the French prefectures or German cities and counties in which virtually all public activities are the administrative responsibility of the local general purpose executives. “Participatory federalism” is another term frequently applied to Germany. This refers to the participation by the Länder in federal legislation, that is, national policy making. This occurs informally through a variety of committees and conferences, such as the conference of Land prime ministers

in The Länder and German federalism
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Alex Balch

networks and communities. Furthermore, we need to specify how this process is conditioned and affected by what categories of intervening variables. To fully understand how ideas and knowledge play a role in policy change, we need to find out about the communities that surround immigration policy-making and explore the types of knowledge that feed into them. National policy-making and the developing EU migration regime As an area of national competence experiencing the impact of emerging developments at EU level (Geddes and Guiraudon 2004), changing national policies on

in Managing labour migration in Europe