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The Nature of the Interactions between Local Authorities and the EU. A Case Study from the North East of England

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10 Already from this brief description of LI it is clear that this approach, if applied to the EU, carries enormous explanatory potential. This is not to say that criticisms cannot be directed towards it. Amongst the various critics, Wincott (1995) deserves particular attention. In one of his boldest assertions he challenges the ‘theoretical status’ of LI altogether. He argues that LI does not attempt to make deductions starting from clear assumptions. This has the effect of avoiding laying out ‘the circumstances in which it could be empirically refuted’ (Rosamund, 2000: 146). Furthermore, Wincott claims that LI is inconsistent. After having argued that States do not enjoy autonomy when negotiating in the international arena, Moravcsik is accused of concluding, a few pages later, that governments can indeed gain freedom from the society they represent. (Wincott, 1995: 601). In both cases Moravcsik’s reply seems rather convincing. As far as the first aspect is concerned, he admits that ‘the basic tripartite structure of LI does not itself comprise a theory’, rather a framework aiming to ‘facilitate a theoretically explicit synthesis of model theories of political economy, negotiation and regimes’ (Moravcsik, 1995: 613). However, liberal intergovernmentalism does rest on a number of assumptions concerning, for example, the centrality of national governments in international bargains or the mechanism by which domestic preferences emerge and are aggregated. This allows Moravcsik to conclude that LI does posses a theoretical content (Moravcsik, 1995: 613). The second critique is perhaps easier to refute. While in international bargains governments’ negotiating positions normally reflect domestic preferences, where such preferences are weak or domestic groups are divided on a certain issue, national executives enjoy more freedom at the negotiating table. Rather, a much more salient observation is that LI does not offer much in terms of explaining how, in similar situations, negotiators define their positions (Wincott, 1995). The basic assumption that national governments act rationally is also criticised. However, in his 1993 paper, Moravcsik himself allows for a relaxation of the rational behaviour hypothesis that should not be overlooked: ‘[w]ith a few important exceptions, EU Institutions appear to be explicable as the result of conscious calculations by Member States to strike a balance between greater efficiency and domestic influence[…] and acceptable levels of political risk’ (Moravcsik, 1993: 507). In a more

Anteprima della Tesi di Andrea Chilese

Anteprima della tesi: The Nature of the Interactions between Local Authorities and the EU. A Case Study from the North East of England, Pagina 5

Tesi di Master

Autore: Andrea Chilese Contatta »

Composta da 64 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 411 click dal 20/03/2004.


Consultata integralmente 2 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.