Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Argyris G. Passas
In the Introduction to this volume we hypothesised that Europeanisation - i.e. the transformation of domestic norms, rules of the game and organisational arrangements resulting from a country’s membership of the EU, is likely to follow sectoral patterns for three key reasons. First, as Lowi’s seminal typology of public policies suggests, politics has sectoral characteristics (Lowi 1972:299) in the sense that the likelihood of the use of coercion - the central feature of governing - and the context in which it happens differs across policy areas. Second, the competence of the EU varies across policy areas. Its role is much more pronounced in areas of ‘economic’ integration such as the internal market and market-correcting policies such as the protection of the environment and social regulation, than it is in, say, foreign policy. Third, the EU is a law-intensive organisation (Page and Dimitrakopoulos 1997) that primarily relies on regulation whilst its distributive and redistributive functions have remained underdeveloped. As a result, the pressure that it exerts is not uniform. In Hood’s (1983) terms, the EU makes a much more extensive use of ‘authority’ than it does of the other tools of government (treasure and, to a lesser extent, nodality and organisation).
Drawing on sociological institutionalism (DiMaggio and Powell 1983, 1991) we have argued that membership of the EU exposes Member States to various types of pressures, such as coercive, mimetic and normative pressures, not least because the EU is an institutional environment in which Member States actively compete in their attempt to ‘upload’ their domestic policy arrangements (Héritier 1996). These types of pressures concern the super-systemic, systemic and sub-systemic levels of analysis (i.e. the normative order, rules of the political game and the organisational level respectively) but change is likely to reflect, to some extent at least, historically defined pre-existing domestic patterns (Krasner 1984, 1988; Page and Wouters 1995; Page 1998; Harmsen 1999). Having chosen the national policy style as our explanandum, we have identified - with Richardson et al. (1982), the two key dimensions of this notion: a government’s relations with societal actors