Project

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Does Group Size Matter? European Governance after Enlargement

Applicant Leuffen Dirk
Number 120772
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) ETH Zentrum SEI
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.04.2008 - 31.10.2011
Approved amount 307'800.00
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Keywords (8)

Group size; European Union; Domestic Politics; Enlargement; decision-making; oligarchization; formalization; adaptation

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
In this project we analyze the impact of group size on political decision-making. Taking the case of the European Union (EU) we investigate whether and how enlargement affects policy-making, both in terms of process but also outcome. In particular the last enlargement round has raised serious concerns on the EU’s governance capacities - given that the institutional framework had initially been designed for a community of six rather homogenous member states. Eastern enlargement has greatly increased the number of member states - the EU now consists of 27 countries - but also the economic, political and cultural heterogeneity of actors has grown. Most theories accordingly predict an increase in policy-stability. Interestingly, first findings on legislative output, however, do not corroborate these predictions. There is no general gridlock after enlargement and rather a ‘business as usual’ hypothesis seems to prevail. This raises the question of whether our theories were wrong and if yes, in what respect, or whether so far we have wrongly measured changes that have been brought about by enlargement.On the theoretical front, we start off with a rationalist reading of post-enlargement governance. We then complement rationalist hypotheses by adding sociological group theories. Those draw our attention to the behavior of the old and of the new member states as well as possible compensatory mechanisms that have been set into being. In particular, we apply theories of oligarchization, adaptation and formalization.The project uses a set of different methods. Econometric analyses, network analyses and case studies are complemented by agent-based models. Although agent-based modeling has produced promising results in other fields of political science it so far has only rarely been applied to the study of the EU. Agent-based models, however, seem well suited to get a better grip on the dynamic mechanisms of policy-making in the European multi-level system of governance.All in all, our project contributes to an ongoing multi-disciplinary debate about group size. By combining different theories of group decision-making the project more broadly fosters the development of our theoretical understanding of EU governance. Agent-based modeling is expected to guide our research into the black box of decision-making. The application of this method in combination with other sophisticated tools of analysis guarantees the scientific quality and innovative character of our contribution. Finally, on the empirical front, our research provides a rigorous account of the effects of Eastern enlargement as one of the most important steps in recent European integration.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Group Size and Formalization. A comparison of European Union decision-making before and after Eastern Enlargement
Hertz Robin Leuffen Dirk (2011), Group Size and Formalization. A comparison of European Union decision-making before and after Eastern Enlargement, in Geopolitics, History and International Relations, 3(1), 59-76.
Too big to run? Analysing the impact of enlargement on the speed of EU decision-making
Hertz R, Leuffen D (2011), Too big to run? Analysing the impact of enlargement on the speed of EU decision-making, in EUROPEAN UNION POLITICS, 12(2), 193-215.
'A New Dataset on Decision-Making in the European Union Before and After the 2004 and 2007 Enlargements (DEU II)
Robert Thomson Javier Arregui Dirk Leuffen James Cross Robin Hertz Thomas Jensen & Rory Costell (2011), 'A New Dataset on Decision-Making in the European Union Before and After the 2004 and 2007 Enlargements (DEU II), in Journal of European Public Policy, 19(4), 604-622.
If things can only get worse: Anticipation of enlargement in European Union legislative politics
Leuffen D, Hertz R (2010), If things can only get worse: Anticipation of enlargement in European Union legislative politics, in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL RESEARCH, 49(1), 53-74.
Forecasting European Union politics: Real-time forecasts in political time series analysis
Bechtel MM, Leuffen D (2010), Forecasting European Union politics: Real-time forecasts in political time series analysis, in EUROPEAN UNION POLITICS, 11(2), 309-327.
Oligarchization, formalization, adaptation? Linking Sociological Theory and EU Enlargement Research
Bailer S, Hertz R, Leuffen D (2009), Oligarchization, formalization, adaptation? Linking Sociological Theory and EU Enlargement Research, in JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN PUBLIC POLICY, 16(1), 162-174.
The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on the Internal Functioning of the European Union: Why so much Continuity?
Leuffen Dirk, The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on the Internal Functioning of the European Union: Why so much Continuity?, in Arcidiacono Bruno (ed.).

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Die Osterweiterung der Europäischen Union im Rückblick Neue Zürcher Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 30.04.2009

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