Beyond the Spanish State: Central Government, Domestic Actors and the Eu

Beyond the Spanish State: Central Government, Domestic Actors and the Eu

Beyond the Spanish State: Central Government, Domestic Actors and the Eu

Beyond the Spanish State: Central Government, Domestic Actors and the Eu

Excerpt

This book examines the role of the Spanish central state or government and its relations with other key domestic actors in the European Union (EU) policy-making process. Although literature on European integration has moved beyond the traditional state-centred perspective and increasingly adopted diverse approaches, new angles or different 'conceptual lenses' (Allison, 1971, p. 253), the role of the central state, and many unanswered questions about its relations with other actors, remains a key focus. This book adopts a dynamic approach which centres neither wholly on the central government nor on other domestic actors, but on the changing interaction between the two.

Few studies have previously applied such an approach to the case of Spain. The generally state-centric focus of the literature reflects Spain's historical legacy, namely its relatively late transition to democratic, participative society due to the imposition of the authoritarian Francoist state until 1975. Michael Keating (1993, p. 337) highlights the fact that 'Spain has long been notable for the relative weakness of its civil society, that is the network of organized groups and institutions outside the state apparatus. This is reflected in the small number and membership of interest groups and the weakness of most of them'. Policy networks and communities have been slower to develop in Spain during EU membership than in other EU countries. However, considerable changes in relations between central government and other key domestic actors during the negotiations for accession to the European Community (EC) and membership cannot be adequately analysed by using the statist emphases of existing literature. This book provides a fuller picture of the Spanish policy-making process.

Despite the wealth of studies of EU policy-making in key member states, relatively few analyses exist in the case of Spain. The strongly . . .

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