Analysing the Processes of European (Dis-)Integration

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 656A (University of Glasgow)
Annegret Eppler , Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck
Since the outbreak of the European debt crisis, the EU has faced some of its greatest challenges to date. Discussions about the downsizing of the Eurozone, the UK exit referendum or the increasing success of EU-sceptic political parties contradict the vision of an “ever-closer union”. As disintegration becomes increasingly conceivable, so does our need for a conceptual understanding of European disintegration. The normative and institutional characteristics of disintegration as well as the dynamics between integration, disintegration and reintegration remains largely unexplored. The paper is addressing this research gap.The paper argues that outcomes of integrative and disintegrative processes can be measured with the same indicators. It argues for a broader concept of (dis-)integration, covering political, territorial, societal and economic dimensions. The paper cautiously analyses processes, dynamics and wants to understand the reasons for European (dis-)integration. More specifically, it is (1) providing and reasoning on a concise set of indicators, (2) analyzing key assumptions on independent and intervening variables that lead to or reinforce disintegration and (3) empirically testing the resulting hypotheses exemplarily over the last decades of European integration.