Chapter

A Theory of Informal Politics

Jeffrey Stacey

in Integrating Europe

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584765
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723506 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584765.003.0002
 A Theory of Informal Politics

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Whereas Chapter 1 reviews general theories of European integration, Chapter 2 contains a review of theories of institutional change with a particular emphasis on a troika of institutionalist theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI), Historical Institutionalism (HI), and Sociological Institutionalism (SI). RCI is this book's theory of choice, essentially amounting to an assumption that institutions are fairly easy to change and an explanation that actors compete to change them when status quo institutions prevent them from achieving their preferences. The book's RCI‐based argument claims that power‐changing informal accords get created in the EU when constraints on the EU's primary political actors change, the actors being the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. It predicts that the Parliament as the weakest actor succeeds in bargaining for advantageous informal accords with its stronger counterparts when one or more of a serious of specific conditions temporarily empower it.

Keywords: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI); Historical Institutionalism (HI); Sociological Institutionalism (SI); theory; model; preferences; constraints; bargaining; strategic interaction; first order; second order; institutionalization; integration

Chapter.  12021 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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