Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture

Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture

Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture

Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture

Synopsis

This book develops a bold new interpretation of EU governance as an innovative decision-making architecture well-suited to complex, uncertain, and rapidly changing environments. It brings together a distinguished interdisciplinary group of European and American scholars to analyze the core theoretical features of the EU's new experimentalist governance architecture and explore its empirical development across a series of key policy domains. The results will be required reading for all those concerned with the nature of the EU and its contribution to contemporary governance beyond the nation-state.

Excerpt

Wrestling with massive rapid expansion, buffeted by economic globalization and demographic change, provoked by a bumbling effort to normalize its constitutional status, the EU is today in crisis, and will likely remain so for several years to come. the outcome of that crisis is unforeseeable, but any outcome short of a radical uprooting of administrative, judicial, and professional dispositions that have been decades in the making is likely to leave intact the novel pattern of the rule making characteristic of governance in the eu. Paradoxically, the distance from the world of parties, parliaments, and referenda that contributes to suspicion about the legitimacy of the EU also protects some of its core institutions from political turbulence. Total disaster aside, what was true of EU governance yesterday is likely to be true the day after tomorrow. This essay is directed towards analysis of the distinctive and surprisingly effective innovations that have emerged in EU governance, in the frank hope if not expectation that a clear appreciation of these can usefully inform the next round of efforts to render the institutions of European decision making comprehensible and democratically accountable.

Looking beneath and beyond the turbulence of the moment, and putting aside the possibility of catastrophic outcomes, here is what we and other observers see: the EU is creating a single market while constructing a framework within which the Member States can protect public health and safety in ways that grow out of their own traditions and allow them to pursue their own best

* a previous version of this essay appeared as Sabel and Zeitlin (2008). This version contains fewer empirical examples but elaborates the underlying theory.

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