The Engines of European Integration: Delegation, Agency, and Agenda Setting in the EU

By Mark A. Pollack | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

One of the (many) potential pitfalls of a career in political science is a tendency to apply theoretical concepts to one's personal life. In the years before the writing of this book, for example, I have seen political scientists use the concept of 'free riding' with reference to graduate students who join study groups but bank their best comments for seminars; 'nested games' with reference to the convoluted career plans of colleagues; and, of course, 'battle of the sexes' used, usually inaccurately, with reference to just about anything.

In that context, generic principal-agent models of delegation—in which one or more individuals, the principal(s), delegate powers to one or more other individuals, the agent(s)—are particularly perilous, since principal-agent relationships are ubiquitous in many areas of political, economic, and social life. Nevertheless, as I point out in Chapter 1 of this book, principal-agent models are not generally designed to serve as broad theories of political life, but rather as mid-range theories that isolate, problematize, and investigate particularly common and important principal-agent relationships like that between EU member governments and their supranational agents. As a corollary, not every social relationship is a principal-agent relationship, and indeed the vast majority of people whom I would like to thank in these acknowledgements are neither my principals nor my agents, but practitioners, colleagues, and friends without whose support this book would have been impossible.

For detailed comments and criticisms on papers and draft chapters leading up to the book, I would like to thank Karen Alter, Michael Barnett, Derek Beach, Jim Caporaso, Jeff Checkel, Joe Jupille, Amie Kreppel, Bert Kritzer, John Peterson, Thomas Risse, George Ross, and a number of anonymous referees. For correspondence, discussions, and hard questions, I am grateful to Jean Blondel, Lisa Conant, Gráinne de Búrca, Bruno De Witte, Beth DeSombre, Fabio Franchino, Simon Hix, Liesbet Hooghe, Christian Joerges, Gary Marks, Margaret McCown, Jürgen Neyer, Johan P. Olson, Martin Rhodes, Wayne Sandholtz, and Daniel Verdier. I am also grateful to Andreas Maurer and the Federal Trust for permission to reproduce Figure 4.1 , which originally appeared in Maurer's 1999 book, What Next for the European Parliament?; to Catherine Divry for her tireless help in reproducing said figure; and to Michael Mosser, who

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