Usage of European Integration – Europeanisation from a Sociological Perspective
The effect of European integration on its member states constitutes the new research agenda within the study of European integration. Marked by the “the institutionalist turn” of Anglo-Saxon political sciences, the most dominant theories on europeanisation focus on structural arrangements. Institutional incompatibility between the European and the national level, so the hypothesis, creates pressures for change. Actors are often only considered as mediators of these pressures. Consequentially, few approaches try to explain adaptational change initiated by policy actors in the absence of institutional pressures. Using a political sociology approach, the central concern of this paper is to insist on the political discretion of national actors in translation of European requirements. We believe that understanding not only “adaptation to” but also “usage of” the process of European integration is important to understanding the transformation of European member states. By insisting on usage , we aim at analysing both the strategic interaction of rational actors with the European institutions and the more sociological effect of “usage” – as “daily practice” – on the interest and identities of the actors.
Europeanization; integration theory; multilevel governance; policy coordination; polity building; participation; political opportunity structure; European public space; structuration theory; sociology
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