The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark Handbook is designed to provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU; reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular; and explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system.

The European Union as a Polity (II)

The European Union as a polity (II)


One of the eternal themes of the study of the European Union consists in the issue of whether the EU is an N of 1. This debate is not about whether the EU has particular characteristics which make it unique in some holistic way. In that sense, nobody would deny that there is only one EU as there is only one United Nations, one US and one United Airlines. Events, decisions, policies, or institutions are always unique in this sense, but few scholars would deny that they can nevertheless be analysed scientifically. Despite much controversy in the philosophy of science, most social scientists attempt to explain something by relating it to more ...

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