Europe Entrapped: The Rise of the Pseudocrat

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
Agustín José Menéndez , Law, University of Leon, Spain
John Erik Fossum , ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo
The asymmetry between economic and political integration has entrapped Europe in a permanent oscillation between inaction, manifestly inadequate action, and emergency government, a pattern clearly discerned in the governing of the financial, fiscal and refugee crises. The way out of the impasse has been to argue for more Europe or more intergovernmentalism. This paper shows that neither position captures the EU’s crisis-driven constitutional mutation. The rise of the pseudocrat epitomises a transformation in the manner in which politics and administration are mixed and conducted in contemporary Europe. We distinguish the pseudocrat from the politician and the expert, and identify those bodies particularly prone to pseudocratic governance, notably the ECB. Thereafter we query why this has come about. We argue that it shows how the European integration process pre-crises got increasingly stuck in a competency trap which the financial and other crises may be turning into an incompetency trap.