Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field

Xabier Itçaina, Antoine Roger and Andy Smith

in Varietals of Capitalism

Published by Cornell University Press

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9781501700439
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781501703737
Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field

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This chapter discusses the negotiation and adoption of the new EU legislation over the years 2006–2008. This is when the paradigm shift that had previously been framed in the scientific and economic fields was institutionalized in the bureaucratic field. The chapter first shows how a new set of officials in the Wine Unit of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI) became the scribes of the reform who turned a range of policy proposals into a single package, moving their unit to the center of the bureaucratic field. This work and this repositioning cannot be separated from how the hierarchy of the directorate-general, most notably its commissioner, played a central role in the bureaucratic field. Resources drawn from the hierarchical position of the commissioner and her cabinet were clearly mobilized to politicize certain debates, technicize others, control the timeline of the reform and, more generally, legitimize it inside and outside the European Commission.

Keywords: EU legislation; bureaucratic field; Wine Unit; wine policy reform; European Commission

Chapter.  7486 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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