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The New Knowledge Economy in Europe

A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion

Edited by Maria João Rodrigues

Knowledge is fast becoming one of the main sources of wealth, yet it can also become a source of inequalities. The New Knowledge Economy in Europe attempts to determine whether it is possible to hasten the transition towards a knowledge-based economy and enhance competitiveness with increased employment and improved social cohesion across Europe. The book is an amalgamation of the scientific and political agendas which led to the European strategy for the knowledge-based economy adopted by the European Union.
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Chapter 8: Governance and government in the European Union: The open method of coordination

A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion

Mario Telò


Mario Telò 1. THE GLOBALISED WORLD, NEW REGIONALISM AND THE EU BETWEEN CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE Despite growing interdependence and enhanced pressures towards a common pattern, it is not entirely possible to eliminate socioeconomic divergence and capitalist diversity within the EU. Not only do they have deep historic, cultural, social and economic roots, but, more importantly, it has become clear for international literature that even though the globalisation and integration process pushes for a greater convergence, it goes paradoxically together with a deepening of ‘localisation’, that is a deepening of regional and national differences.1 James Rosenau has rightly proposed the concept or neologism of ‘fragmigration’ to grasp this mixture of integration and fragmentation at the level of the global system.2 This new reality is bound to have consequences on the elaboration of international governance norms and on their chances of being consistently implemented. The international coordination of policies, especially at the Trilateral Commission level, was a tentative response at the end of the long period of US-centered hegemonic stability, which emerged after the Second World War, during the decades of embedded capitalism. Its success, mitigated during the 1980s, proved to be increasingly insignificant over the last decade of the century; this implies a risk of exacerbating discord economic globalisation, and also social competition among national and sub-national systems (but with a rush to the bottom3) and instability, both at the global level and within national societies. This chapter places the systemic development of neo-regionalism, and more specifically of...

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