Lessons in Political Organization from European Integration

Johan P. Olsen

in Governing through Institution Building

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593934
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594632 | DOI:
Lessons in Political Organization from European Integration

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Chapter 2 examines the claim that mainstream interpretations of political organization and governing, their basic assumptions, conceptual language, and theoretical ideas, developed in the context of the sovereign state are outdated in the context of the emerging European polity and a globalized world. The chapter explores what new insights studies of recent European experiments in political integration through institution building and polity formation have delivered back to institutional analysis and to political science at large. This long chapter first attends to the shifting fortunes of institutionalism in political science over the last sixty years, starting with the behavioural revolution's criticism of the formal-legal analysis of political institutions as a ‘typical European way’ of looking at politics, and ending up in a cacophony of new institutionalisms. Then an organization theory-based institutional approach is presented, before the next three sections explore possible theoretical ideas, empirical insights, and agenda-setting effects in terms of bringing up some fundamental issues and enduring controversies in the study of political organization and government. In the concluding section ten lessons in political organization and governing through institution building are outlined.

Keywords: institutionalism; institution building; polity formation; organization theory; formal‐legal approach; typical European way; behavioural revolution; political integration; European Union

Chapter.  38862 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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