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An institutional critique of intergovernmentalism

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  • Garrett, Geoffrey
  • Tsebelis, George

Abstract

Most intergovernmentalist analyses of European integration focus on treaty bargaining among European Union member governments. Recent articles also have examined everyday decision making through power index analysis, an approach that asserts that a government's ability to influence policy is a function of all possible coalitions in the Council of Ministers to which it is pivotal. This approach suffers from two major weaknesses. First, it fails to take into account the policy preferences of governments; it overestimates the influence of governments holding extreme preferences and underestimates that of more centrist governments. Second, power index analysis fails to consider the important roles of the Commission of the European Communities and the European Parliament in legislative processes. Today's procedures affect the mix of agenda-setting and veto power, and this has systematic effects on policy outcomes. If intergovernmentalism is to explain choices made during treaty rounds, it must take into account these legislative dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Garrett, Geoffrey & Tsebelis, George, 1996. "An institutional critique of intergovernmentalism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 269-299, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:50:y:1996:i:02:p:269-299_02
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Crombez, 2000. "Institutional Reform and Co-Decision in the European Union," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 41-57, March.
    2. Leech, D., 2000. "Members' Voting Power in the Governance of the International Monetary Fund," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 583, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Leech, D., 2001. "Fair Reweighting of the Votes in the EU Council of Ministers and the Choice of Majority Requirement for Qualified Majority Voting during Successive Enlargements," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 587, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Robert Pahre & Burcu Uçaray-Mangitli, 2009. "The Myths of Turkish Influence in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 357-384, March.
    5. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2016. "De-constitutionalization and majority rule: A democratic vision for Europe," MPIfG Discussion Paper 16/14, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. Mareike Kleine, 2013. "Trading Control: National Chiefdoms within International Organizations," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 59, European Institute, LSE.
    7. Thomas Doleys, 2009. "Incomplete Contracting, Commission Discretion and the Origins of EU Merger Control," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 483-506, June.
    8. Luisa Giuriato, 2006. "The decision-making procedures for the European Union's finances in the Constitutional debate," Working Papers 96, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    9. Pekkanen Saadia M & Tsai Kellee S, 2011. "The Politics of Ambiguity in Asia's Sovereign Wealth Funds," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-46, August.
    10. repec:spr:grdene:v:19:y:2010:i:6:d:10.1007_s10726-009-9157-y is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Huber, Gerald & Kocher, Martin & Sutter, Matthias, 2003. "Government Strength, Power Dispersion in Governments and Budget Deficits in OECD-Countries: A Voting Power Approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(3-4), pages 333-350, September.
    12. Mark A. Pollack, 2007. "The New Institutionalisms and European Integration," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0031, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
    13. Mareike Kleine, 2013. "Daniel Finke, Thomas König, Sven-Oliver Proksch and George Tsebelis. 2012. Reforming the European Union: Realizing the Impossible (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press)," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 111-115, March.
    14. Josep M. Colomer, 2000. "How political parties, rather than member-states, are building the European Union," Economics Working Papers 489, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    15. Borkowski, Agnieszka, 2003. "Machtverteilung im Ministerrat: nach dem Vertrag von Nizza und den Konventsvorschlägen in einer erweiterten Europäischen Union," IAMO Discussion Papers 54, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    16. Sutter, Matthias, 2000. "Flexible Integration, EMU and Relative Voting Power in the EU," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1-2), pages 41-62, July.
    17. Karoline Flåm, 2009. "Restricting the import of ‘emission credits’ in the EU: a power struggle between states and institutions," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 23-38, February.
    18. Mareike Kleine, 2013. "Knowing your limits: Informal governance and judgment in the EU," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 245-264, June.

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