European Networks and Ideas: Changing National Policies?
Wider involvement and better knowledge are keywords in the recent White Paper on European Governance. The political discourse has, quite obviously, taken up the academic debate about the importance of ideas and networks. The Commission is seen as an ideational entrepreneur which by arguing and networking is able to induce autonomous actors with quite diverse interests to follow a European course of action. Regional policy has been a most promising field of research to confirm this hypothesis. Recent investigations can be read, however, in quite a different way. The paper questions established conventional wisdom concerning the importance of European ideas and networks for policy change and raises the question how ideational and network competition could be explored in a better way.
Europeanization; governance; ideas; networks; regional policy; political science
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