Explaining security integration in the European: intergovernmentalist account
Ertek, Esin (2005) Explaining security integration in the European: intergovernmentalist account. [Thesis]
Security integration in the European Union is one of the most significant and contentious issues on the integration agenda. It is problematic because security lies directly at the core of state sovereignty (i.e. as part of high-politics) and the potential implications of its integration threaten the nation-state as the sole exerciser of sovereignty. On the other hand, security integration is necessary if the European Union is to close the gap between its economic power and political influence in international affairs. This dichotomy ensures that security is a recurrent theme in the discussions related to the deepening of European integration while it is being conspicuously prevented from taking a communitarian characteristic. In order to account for the dynamics behind the state and development of European security integration, this study draws upon intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism as two theoretical frameworks offering competing interpretations of the possibility of integration in high-politics at the European level and of the relative role public opinion plays in shaping member state preferences towards security integration. An analysis of the Intergovernmental Conferences leading up to the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice Treaties together with Eurobarometer survey data reveals that intergovernmentalism has more explanatory power in accounting for the current state of European security integration.
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