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The Political Economy of Social Europe: The case of inclusion policies


  • Waltraud Schelkle

    (European Institute, London School of Economic and Political Science)


EU governments have engaged in a coordinated effort to combat social exclusion. This is puzzling for empirical and theoretical reasons. The paper argues that integration of social inclusion policies can be explained by the political economy of domestic reform, driven by structural change in EU welfare states, facilitated by the new Open Method of Coordination. This explanation is contrasted with the view that European integration is motivated by EU bureaucratsÕ interest in expanding their competencies and national administrationsÕ attempt to instrumentalise the EU for protection of their clientele.

Suggested Citation

  • Waltraud Schelkle, 2003. "The Political Economy of Social Europe: The case of inclusion policies," European Political Economy Review, European Political Economy Infrastructure Consortium, vol. 1(Autumn), pages 191-221.
  • Handle: RePEc:epe:journl:v:1:y:2003:i:autumn:p:191-221

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    Political economy of reform; public choice; Social Europe; social exclusion; open method of coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General


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