The Paradigmatic Case

Christilla Roederer-Rynning

in The EU's Decision Traps

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596225
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729140 | DOI:
The Paradigmatic Case

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How was agricultural policy reform possible in a context of almost unchanged institutional rules that provided ripe conditions for inertia and gridlock? This chapter argues that the original joint-decision trap argument presented an analytical model of EU policy-making that corresponded most closely to pre-1990 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and sets out to elucidate the puzzle of reform in this area. Beyond the high politics of CAP reforms, the analysis highlights the evolution of the day-to-day policy business, which is captured by contrasting ideal-types of CAP policy-making: ‘hegemonic policy-making’ and ‘competitive policy-making’. Change took place, it is argued, through a combination of exogenous pressure, social and cognitive learning, and institutional manoeuvring, leading to what one might call ‘punctuated evolution’. In spite of recent changes, however, the CAP will continue to be one of the most controversial policy areas in the EU for reasons that are both material and ideological.

Keywords: agriculture; CAP; consensus; externalizing costs; Luxembourg Compromise; day-to-day policy-making; voting; crisis

Chapter.  9711 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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