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Getting Socialized to Build Bridges: Constructivism and Rationalism, Europe and the Nation-State


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  • Z rn, Michael
  • Checkel, Jeffrey T.
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    Building on the empirical findings of the preceding articles, we advance three arguments. First, while socialization research has typically been construed as constructivism s home turf, this volume s emphasis on mechanisms and scope conditions reveals that rational choice has much to contribute here as well. We develop this claim by undertaking a double interpretation of each essay, which allows us to advance more fine-grained arguments connecting the two social theories. Second, while there are good conceptual reasons for expecting a predominance of international socialization in Europe, the empirical cases instead suggest that its effects are often weak and secondary to dynamics at the national level. We make sense of this puzzle by reasoning more explicitly in longitudinal terms, by drawing on work on European identity, and by noting that students of European socialization as well as integration have much to gain by bringing the domestic back in. Finally, while our collaborators have demonstrated the empirical and theoretical benefits of combining a social ontology with a positivist epistemology, this comes at a cost, with normative perspectives neglected. This matters and all the more so in a Europe marked by supranational constitution- and polity building. Socialization dynamics may well take us beyond the nation-state, but their legitimacy and governance implications bring us back forcefully to it.We are grateful to the project participants and contributors to this volume for valuable discussions on the themes addressed here. For detailed comments on earlier versions of this essay, we thank two anonymous reviewers, the IO editors, Peter Katzenstein, and Ron Mitchell.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 04 (October)
    Pages: 1045-1079

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:59:y:2005:i:04:p:1045-1079_05

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    Cited by:
    1. Aliu, Armando & Aliu, Dorian, 2013. "Power of Global Transnational Networks: Civilizing of World Order," MPRA Paper 49717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mark A. Pollack, 2007. "The New Institutionalisms and European Integration," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0031, University of Bath, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages.
    3. Fuchs, Susanne, 2007. "Weltgesellschaft und Modernisierung: Eine Skizze der Dynamik des Formwandels des Systems internationaler Beziehungen," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance SP IV 2007-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Torben Heinze, 2011. "Mechanism-Based Thinking on Policy Diffusion. A Review of Current Approaches in Political Science," KFG Working Papers p0034, Free University Berlin.
    5. Hage, Frank M., 2007. "Constructivism, fuzzy sets and (very) small-N: Revisiting the conditions for communicative action," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 512-521, May.
    6. Jonathan Aus, 2009. "Conjunctural causation in comparative case-oriented research," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 173-183, March.
    7. Mitchell, Ronald B., 2011. "Transparency for governance: The mechanisms and effectiveness of disclosure-based and education-based transparency policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1882-1890, September.
    8. Erickson, Jennifer L., 2008. "Normative power and EU arms transfer policy: A theoretical critique and empirical test," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance SP IV 2008-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    9. Andreas Grimmel, 2011. "Integration and the Context of Law: Why the European Court of Justice is not a Political Actor," Les Cahiers européens de Sciences Po 3, Centre d'études européennes (CEE) at Sciences Po, Paris.


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