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 12: Conclusion: Europeanization, Multi-level Governance and Civil Society

William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth


William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth 12.1 INTRODUCTION Europeanization, multi-level governance and civil society appear to be related in manifold and complex ways. Analyses dealing with these phenomena and their interdependencies usually start with the claim that many policy areas within EU member states have been Europeanized. Yet even a cursory glance at the various approaches clearly demonstrates that the conceptual, theoretical and empirical complexities in this area are immense. While Olsen (2002: 921) notes that ‘ “Europeanization” is a contested but fashionable concept’ that can be ‘applied in a number of ways to describe a variety of phenomena and processes of change’, other authors try to pin down the most important features in a single sentence. Green Cowles and Risse (2001: 217) define Europeanization ‘as the emergence and development at the European level of distinct structures of governance, that is, of political, legal, and social institutions associated with political problem solving that formalize interactions among the actors, and of policy networks specializing in the creation of authoritative rules’. The rise of these ‘institutions’ and ‘networks’ clearly presents a challenge to the conventional approaches to democratic decision making and the role of civil associations. This volume has examined various aspects of Europeanization and its consequences for democratic decision-making processes by addressing greater citizen involvement in EU governance, increasing identification with and confidence and trust in EU political institutions, and the issues of transparency, legitimacy and accountability of decision-making procedures within the EU. While the links between...

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