Skip to content

7 CES Open Forum Series

European integration and resistance to institutional change: The politics of services liberalization in the European Union

Dec 1, 2011 Amandine Crespy


This paper demonstrates how the historical and discursive strings of neo-institutionalism can bring new insights for drawing a bigger picture than is currently done in EU studies. The central claim is that this requires exploring not only the drivers but also the obstacles to further policy integration in the EU. In this respect, it is fruitful to consider the intertwined way in which both institutional reproduction over time and ideas conveyed by agency can explain the success or failure of coalitions and hence policy outcomes. Throughout the paper, these reflections are applied to ongoing research about the politics of services in the EU, a matter of inter-sectoral relevance that implies major political, social and legitimacy issues.