Presenting a fresh alternative to traditional state-centered analyses of the process of European integration, Governance in the European Union clearly shows the interaction of subnational, national, and supranational actors in the emerging European polity. This “multilevel politics” approach offers a powerful lens for viewing the future course of European integration. The authors' empirical exploration of areas such as regional governance, social policy, and social movements underpins their broad conceptual and theoretical framework, providing significant new insight into European politics. Governance in the European Union will appeal to students and academics across the broad spectrum of political science, and will be of particular interest to those in European studies, public policy studies, comparative politics, and political theory.
Chapter 4: Neo-Voluntarism: A New European Social Policy Regime?
Neo-Voluntarism: A New European Social Policy Regime?
Maastricht and its aftermath should have finally made clear what could have been recognized long ago:62 that the integrated Europe of the European Union will never be a supranational state on the model of European nation-states. Instead what is developing in Western Europe today is a polity of a new kind: an international order, controlled by intergovernmental relations between sovereign nation-states, that serves as a domestic order for a transnational economy. The politics of this unique arrangement is not easily understood and will take a long time to explore, in practice just as in theory. But what should be obvious is that it is not driven by a logic of ‘spill-over’ from ...