Integration in times of crisis. Testing Neofunctional hypotheses: a political economy investigation of crisis-led integration.

Nicoli, Francesco (2017) Integration in times of crisis. Testing Neofunctional hypotheses: a political economy investigation of crisis-led integration. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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For more than 10 years, from the launch of the Single Currency to the global financial crisis, the process of deepening European integration stagnated, while emphasis was on widening the borders of the Union. In the wake of the Eurocrisis, however, two phenomena have captured the attention of political economists interested in European integration: the outstanding amount of new institutions, policies, and legislation which have been set in place to counter the crisis, and the rising popular rejection of the very concept of European unity. The old functionalist adage that “integration advances through crises” appears to be, prima facie, corroborated; nevertheless, the dynamics of (political) fragmentation seems to follow a similar pattern, as Postfunctionalists would expect. Two interrelated questions emerge: is the Eurocrisis a true functional crisis? Did the Eurocrisis trigger a new, “transformative” cycle of integration, embodied in its Postfunctional dynamics? In the attempt to address this research puzzle, this doctoral dissertation attempts to operationalize the research problem through six standalone papers clustered in two parts. In addition, Chapter 1 reconstructs the key elements of systemic functionalism, guiding the reader through the theoretical pillars of this work presenting its overall logic – questions, methodologies, and chapter connections. Part One of the dissertation (Chapters 1-4) deals with the fundamental question concerning the Neofunctional nature of the Eurocrisis, attempting to clarify to what extent the Eurocrisis can be really qualified as a “functional crisis”. Chapter 2 provides a comprehensive historical account of functional crises through the first 60 years of European Integration; Chapter 3 provides an econometric test of the endogenous nature of the Eurocrisis; Chapter 4 provides a qualitative assessment of the functional nature of the institutions introduced during the crisis. Part Two of the dissertation (Chapters 5-7) dives into the possible Postfunctional implications of the Eurocrisis, analyzing to what extent the crisis is contributing to create a mobilized European public sphere. In particular, Chapter 5 provides a theoretical analysis of how the crisis is changing the legitimacy of the EU; Chapter 6 provides an econometric assessment of the crisis’ impact on citizens’ preferences for further economic integration; finally, Chapter 7 provides an analysis of the crisis’ impact on the performance of extreme Eurosceptic parties.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:International Studies
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS P/02 POLITICA ECONOMICA
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/04 SCIENZA POLITICA
Repository Staff approval on:24 Feb 2017 11:25

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