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25 Working Paper

European Community Politics & Institutional Change

1989 Stanley Hoffmann and Robert O. Keohane


In this essay, two of America's foremost analysts of international relations attempt to characterize the pattern of decision-making in the European Community and the process that has led to further political and economic integration associated with 1992. They argue that the EC is an experiment in pooled sovereignty rather than a traditional effort to transfer sovereignty from states to supranational institutions. If the expansion of the Community ultimately depended on bargains among governments, they argue, some forms of institutional spillover have also cooperated to strengthen Community decision-making. Finally, they speculate about the future of the Community in the light of German unification and changing East-West relations more generally. This is a bold attempt to place recent developments in the EC within the context of classic theories of international relations.