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De-configuring the European Union: A comparative approach


  • John Erik Fossum


This article discusses the question of the EU's uniqueness. This issue is of particular importance when considered in relation to the nation-state. Uniqueness can then be considered as a case of departure from or transformation of the nation-state. The EU has emerged with a complex mixture of supranational, transnational and intergovernmental traits. The emerging system at the EU level combines with the closely linked process of Europeanisation of the member states to transform the nation state. To study the uniqueness of the EU in relation to nation state transformation, a comparative approach is necessary. This article discusses the question of the EU's uniqueness by means of a more extensive and systematic approach to comparison than has hitherto been undertaken. It argues that the application of four strategies of comparison to the EU, applied at different stages in the EU's development, offers the best way of clarifying uniqueness.

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  • John Erik Fossum, 2004. "De-configuring the European Union: A comparative approach," ARENA Working Papers 14, ARENA.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0031

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    legitimacy; Treaty on European Union; polity building; integration theory;

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