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European integration and eastward enlargement: the widening and deepening of neo-liberal restructuring in Europe


  • Andreas Bieler


Mainstream approaches of European integration incorrectly focus on the form of integration at the expense of the contents, i.e. the social purpose of integration. As a result, the deepening and widening of integration are generally considered to be two opposed processes. By contrast, this paper outlines and applies a neo-Gramscian perspective to the deepening as well as widening of European integration since the mid-1980s with a specific emphasis on the rationale underlying these processes. Rather than being contradictory developments, it is concluded that both processes are part and parcel of the intensified neo-liberal restructuring of the European social relations of production. The paper concludes with some reflections on the possibilities of resistance against neo-liberalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Bieler, 2003. "European integration and eastward enlargement: the widening and deepening of neo-liberal restructuring in Europe," Queen's Papers on Europeanisation p0041, Queens University Belfast.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:queens:p0041

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    Cited by:

    1. Antoniades, Andreas, 2009. "Social Europe and/or global Europe? Globalization and flexicurity as debates on the future of Europe," MPRA Paper 28871, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    economics; political economy; integration theory; enlargement;

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