Civil Society and Governance in Europe
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Civil Society and Governance in Europe

From National to International Linkages

Edited by William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth

The contributors to this new book analyse the opportunities for civil society associations to contribute to European integration and decision-making from various perspectives. The research demonstrates that the Europeanization process – in terms of civil society actors adapting to the European political space – has an uneven development.
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Chapter 10: Coalition Structures in National Policy Networks: The Domestic Context of European Politics

Silke Adam, Margit Jochum and Hanspeter Kriesi


Silke Adam, Margit Jochum and Hanspeter Kriesi 10.1 INTRODUCTION Today the European Union is regarded as the most ambitious project of multi-national governance (Hirst and Thompson 1996). Some authors even call it a state-like structure (Lepsius 1999; Lord and Beetham 2001). As a result, no other region in the world has a comparatively high level of state surpassing regulations as the European Union (Kohler-Koch 2000). This might lead us to the expectation that, at least in those policy domains that are jointly regulated, European nation states might converge, leaving behind their national characteristics. However, research points to the puzzling fact that, despite these common European structures and regulations, member states still respond differently to these challenges and changes at the European level (for example, Cowles et al. 2001; Héritier and Knill 2001). The reason for these specific domestic adaptations (Risse et al. 2001: 1) refers to the fact that European regulations and policies meet with different domestic contexts. These are the key to understanding responses to European policies. Wallace (2001: 593) for example argues that ‘the adaptations of behaviour and the outcomes of policy need to be read against significant and persistent diversity between Member States’. Although research has pointed out the importance of the national level in European integration (for example, Imig and Tarrow 2000; Wallace 2001; Maurer et al. 2003), there is so far little understanding of how the national level affects adaptation processes in relation to EU policies (Knill and Lehmkuhl...

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