Europeanization and the Persistence of Administrative Systems

Edward C. Page

in Governing Europe

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599439 | DOI:
 Europeanization and the Persistence of Administrative Systems

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Europeanization represents something of a paradox: at one level it is impossible to argue that the state has not been ‘Europeanized’ to some degree in various sectors; and on the other hand, there is precious little evidence of ‘Europeanization’. The difference between these two views can be explained by the different meanings of ‘Europeanization’ on which they are based: the first argument is based on the definition of Europeanization as impact of whatever sort on the way in which policies are developed in member states of the European Union (EU); the second argument is far more exacting since it is based on a definition of Europeanization as having a homogenizing impact on specific institutions and practices across a wide range of state activities; to a very large degree then the argument about whether and to what extent ‘Europeanization’ is taking place, depends upon the definition used. This investigation addresses a central theme in much of Vincent Wright’s later comparative work, as well as his work on French politics – the persistence of national differences in the light of wider global as well as European influences on the institutions of individual states. The chapter looks at the expectation of homogenization, and whether or not European administrative systems have converged. The various mechanisms considered through which this convergence could occur are: coercion, imitation, adjustment and polydiffusion.

Keywords: adjustment; administrative systems; coercion; convergence of administrative systems; Europe; European Union; Europeanization; homogenization; imitation; institutions; persistence of administrative systems; persistence of national differences; policy change; policy development; polydiffusion

Chapter.  7846 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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