The Institutionalization of European Space

Alec Stone Sweet, Neil Fligstein and Wayne Sandholtz

in The Institutionalization of Europe

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199247967
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601088 | DOI:
 The Institutionalization of European Space

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This introductory chapter starts by summarizing the main conclusions of the earlier companion volume (European Integration and Supranational Governance), and describes the current volume as focusing on the institutionalism of Europe per se, rather than the question of how supranational arenas emerged and were institutionalized. It looks at the sources and consequences of institutionalization, i.e. the process through which European political space – supranational policy arenas or sites of governance, structured by European Union (EU) rules, procedures, and the activities of the EU’s organizations – has evolved. The five main sections of the chapter look at the institutionalist challenge, discuss institutions and institutionalization (institutional change, social and political space, institutions in relation to power, and rule-making and legitimacy), attempt to explain institutional change in the European Union (examining institutional innovation and its assessment), provide a brief overview of the book, and offer conclusions on the dynamics of institutionalization and the future of the European Union. The next nine chapters of the book are described as falling into three groups: the first set addresses the processes of institutionalization (Chs 2–4); the second set explores how specific European policy spaces have emerged, mutated, and stabilized through ‘endogenous’ processes of institutionalization (Chs 5–7); and the third set is concerned with the processes of institutional innovation – the creation of new policy spaces (Chs 8–10). A final chapter concludes by discussing the institutional logic of integration.

Keywords: assessment of institutional innovation; European Integration; European political space; European social space; European space; European Union; institutional change; institutional innovation; institutionalization; institutions; legitimacy; political space; power; rule-making; social space; supranational governance; supranational policy

Chapter.  13729 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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