Rules or Values? Production of Knowledge and the Question of Institutionalization in European Drug Cooperation

By Fjaer, Svanaug | Contemporary Drug Problems, July 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Rules or Values? Production of Knowledge and the Question of Institutionalization in European Drug Cooperation


Fjaer, Svanaug, Contemporary Drug Problems


The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is responsible for collecting information on the drugs situation in all the EU member states so as to support decision making in the drugs field. EMCDDA is a new organization in the production of knowledge and has some specific characteristics. It is organized as a network among all the member states, and it also has the status of an agency within the EU. Its action must therefore be based on the principles of the union. Furthermore a main objective of the center is to produce comparable data about the drugs situation in different countries. Since this comparability would contribute to the construction of a common understanding of the European drugs problem, the center could gain a prominent political role as well as an administrative role in a more common handling of drugs problems within the EU.

Epidemiological knowledge has traditionally been created within a national framework. The national ways of counting have been constructed as a result of definitions and priorities (Desrosieres, 1990). The production of knowledge has taken place within a national policy community, with normative restrictions placed on the participants. These normative restrictions become especially visible in situations of controversy (Fjaer, 1998a). In the literature about European agencies there is a general optimism about the possibilities for new deliberative and accountable forums at the European levels (Majone, 1997; Dehousse, 1997; Joerges and Everson, 2000). In this article I investigate the problem of institutional constraints on expertise in international cooperation. It is reasonable to assume that public officials as experts on the European scene have a restricted scope of action.

The potential institutional constraints can be categorized as follows:

1. The potential conflict between the norms, rules and routines guiding research and those guiding public administration in general.

2. The potential conflict between the norms, rules and routines of national traditions and those guiding action at the EU level.

These factors lead to the main concerns of this article: What factors make these organizations work in spite of cultural and institutional differences? What mechanisms ensure compliance among the different national participants? What is the institutional basis for these mechanisms? The theoretical literature identifies several sources of compliance. Conceptualizations of such mechanisms, when they are applied to this empirical case, can also lead to a discussion of the question of what kind of institution the EMCDDA is about to become.

What creates an institution?

Understanding what factors make European cooperation on this level work is an interesting task. An elaboration of the principles of the institutionalization process helps in a more detailed understanding of sources of progress as well as of the limitations of expert cooperation at the EU level. Institutions constrain and regulate behavior. The point of departure for this article is that the mechanisms that ensure compliance, keeping the network together, also determine the path of the institutionalization process.

An institution is generally understood as something more than an organization, but how strictly the term is interpreted varies with the tradition of institutional theory. Scott (1995:33) offers an omnibus definition of institutions: "Institutions consist of cognitive, normative and regulative structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behaviour. Institutions are transported by various carriers-cultures, structures and routines-and they operate at multiple levels of jurisdiction."

A more restricted definition is given by Selznick (1957:17), who emphasizes common norms and values as an important part of institutions and defines an institution as an organization "infused with values beyond the technical requirements of the task at hand. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rules or Values? Production of Knowledge and the Question of Institutionalization in European Drug Cooperation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.