Chapter

The Political Production of the EU: Boundary Building and Boundary Removing

Stefano Bartolini

in Restructuring Europe

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286430
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603242 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199286434.003.0004
The Political Production of the EU: Boundary Building and Boundary Removing

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This chapter analyses the main activities and policies of the EU new centre in the light of their capacity to remove internal boundaries (among member states), and to set external boundaries to the new enlarged system. It focuses on the economic and the coercion boundary (with its external and internal dimensions), and then moves on to analyse those other crucial boundaries that preside over the creation of a ‘system’: identity building, participation rights, and social sharing institutions. It argues that internal boundary removal proceeded at a much higher speed and scope than external boundary setting; that the EU produced a progressive disjoining and lack of coincidence of the previously highly coterminous economic, cultural, coercion and politico-administrative boundaries of the nation states; and that while the centre consolidated economic and legal integration, it did not create a ‘system’. This configuration can be interpreted in an institutional perspective (focussing on the relationship between the institutional structure of the new centre and its strategy of boundary control) and in a political perspective (focussing on the political elites preference for externalizing the pressure for domestic change, setting external constraints that ‘objectify’ the need for internal discipline).

Keywords: integration policies; common currency; competition; military cooperation; internal policing; identity; participation; citizenship; welfare

Chapter.  32646 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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