Week 4: The Double Asymmetry of European Integration

The European Economic Community, up until the 1980s, was based on intergovernmental negotiations to remove trade barriers in the construction of the single market. Public services functions, and public policies associated with the welfare state, were left to member-states. This division between the national and transnational worked well for a period of time but ultimately proved sustainable for a variety of reasons, primarily the difficulty of separating the market from social rights. This lecture, building upon Fritz Scharpf, asks the question whether the liberal transformation of the EU was the direct the result of an ideological preference by political actors or a functional outcome of the structural impediments associated with European integration?

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