What Makes Collaborative Leadership Successful? the Cognitive Dimension of European Integration

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Femke A. W. J. Van Esch , Utrecht School of Government, Utrecht University
Henriette Mueller , New York University Abu Dhabi
Scholars of New Intergovernmentalism recently concluded that future steps of European integration will take place predominantly in the form of intergovernmental agreements, and that the time of supranational integration belongs to the past. Like the development of Neofunctionalism in the 1950s, Intergovernmentalism in the 1960s and Supranationalism in the 1980s/90s, however, the emergence of New Institutionalism seems to be mainly a reflection of the (European) sign of the times. Moreover, like its predecessors New Institutionalism hardly pays any attention to the role of agency in its explanation for the emergence of an intergovernmental moment in European integration history. In this paper, we will explore the extent to which the process of European integration has been shaped by individual actors, their beliefs, strategies and exertion of collaborative European leadership. More specifically, the paper will compare the views of four historic leadership triplets on the instruments and finalité of European integration: that of Adenauer-de Gaulle-Hallstein, Schmidt-Giscard d’Estaing-Jenkins, Kohl-Mitterand-Delors and Merkel-Sarkozy-Barroso. It will unravel to what extent cognitive convergence existed among these leaders on their preferred form of European integration (intergovernmental or supranational) and how this shaped the process of European integration during their reign. It will do so by using the method of Comparative Cognitive Mapping (CCM) developed specifically for studying the beliefs of political leaders.