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Introduction

Towards Regulatory Equilibrium

Christoph U. Schmid

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Andreas Raspotnik

In recent years, the Arctic region has reappeared as a centre of world politics and attracted the interest of stakeholders from within and outside the circumpolar North. The region is literally melting and the term ‘Arctic geopolitics’ has become a popular catchphrase to illustrate the Arctic’s status quo and its allegedly fluid future. During that time the European Union also discovered its Northern neighbourhood. Concerned about an unstable Arctic region and related spill-over effects reaching Europe, the EU has shown considerable interest in having a determining influence on future regional developments. It envisioned an Arctic future alongside its own conceptualisation of world order, rule of law and good governance.

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Editorial advisory board

Towards Regulatory Equilibrium

Edited by Christoph U. Schmid

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The constructivist turn in EU public policy approaches

Interpretive Approaches to the EU

Sabine Saurugger

Starting from a definition of constructivism and its uses in European integration, the chapter analyses the promises and limits of the approach for public policy studies at the EU level. The constructivist turn allowed for asking new questions with regard to European integration, such as, how do cognitive frames shape policies in the specific institutional context? Why do actors act as they do, beyond purely cost–benefit-based analysis, or in other words why do they define policy problems in a specific way? The answers to these questions helped to understand European integration not only as a federalist system, a functionalistic spillover project, or an intergovernmental entity whose progress is dependent on member state interests, but as a complex political system in which interests were embedded in cognitive frames. However, EU constructivist approaches slightly underestimated the power of actors to pick and choose adequate framings to defend their preferences. This limit was tackled in the most recent actor-centred perspective of constructivism which the chapter develops in more detail.

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Miroslava Scholten, Michiel Luchtman and Elmar Schmidt

Recently, the powers of the European Union (EU) have evolved from being mainly regulatory to include also direct enforcement competences. Rather than monitoring the enforcement efforts of national authorities (indirect enforcement), direct enforcement by the EU implies that EU enforcement authorities (EEAs) have the power to monitor adherence to legal rules by private actors, as well as to investigate and sanction alleged violations of EU law by those actors. The shift of power from the national to the EU level, especially in such an area as law enforcement, raises concerns about how to ensure democratic control and the rule of law. What challenges in terms of democratic control and the rule of law does this development bring about and how could or should those challenges be addressed? This chapter outlines the research project and sets up an analytical framework for the nine case-studies and cross-cutting issues of accountability and judicial protection.

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Foreword

Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability

Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

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Stefano Bianchini

This chapter describes the crisis that affected, in different ways, the Russian, the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian Empires at the dawn of the twentieth century, by focusing on the demands for autonomy that characterized the different national groups. Particular importance is ascribed to the multiple dynamics that affected the Baltic and Ukrainian regions within the Tsarist Empire, the role of the small independent states of the Balkans in imposing the Ottoman partition in South East Europe, as well as the strategic inspiration they drew from the Italian and German experience and, finally, the debates on national and institutional reforms within the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the assassination in Sarajevo.

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Stefano Bianchini

The chapter offers to the reader an insightful description of opposing, sometimes overlapping, nationalist projects in Europe. Beginning from the Enlightenment, the narrative focuses first on the main makers of nationalism (ideas of freedom, group homogeneity, collective culture and standardized language, centralization). It then describes some of the most relevant personalities that influenced the debate and the praxis of national and federal strategies around Europe. A special emphasis is given to the effects that Italian and German unifications had on revolutionary aspirations of nationalist movements. Finally the chapter presents the dynamics that led to the transformation of these ideals from political opposition to state ideology and imperialism. Within this framework, the Polish-Lithuanian and the Serbo-Croatian expectations for federal or ethno-national arrangements are analysed as key examples of multiple, opposing, national projects.

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Three dimensions of generational justice

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

In the chapter the authors develop a justice-based argument for why it matters whether the generational welfare contract is balanced and provide equally comprehensive social protection against different age-related social risks. This establishes a normative starting point for the authors’ empirical investigations on how welfare states affect different age groups. Building on the prudential lifespan account of justice between age groups, one set of considerations focuses on how to facilitate stable intergenerational cooperation to enhance life prospects of all successive generations as they move through the different stages of life. A second source of arguments is the ideal of relational equality, bringing attention to inequalities between people in different life stages, especially with respect to goods that matter to their relative power and social status. Finally, a third layer of considerations is derived from justice between non-contemporaries and the requirements of just savings for future generations.

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Profiling the generational welfare contract

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

In this chapter the authors empirically investigate the generational structure of social citizenship in 18 OECD countries, using new comparative data on income replacement in social insurance directed at three different age-related social risks: childhood, working age and old age. For the period 1980–2010, they identify different types of generational welfare contracts and analyse how they are related to levels of income replacement. Greater balance in the generational structure of social citizenship seems to improve the overall comprehensiveness of the system as well as levels of income replacement in social insurance for each separate age-related social risk; thus supporting their hypothesis of positive-sum solutions in generational politics. While the authors find a general development towards greater balance in the generational structure of social citizenship, as levels of income replacement in social insurance over time have become more evenly distributed across age-related risks, cross-country differences remain substantial.