Legitimizing Resistanceto EU Integration: Social Europe as a Europeanized Normative Frame in the Conflictover the Bolkestein Directive
This paper deals with the conflict over the Bolkestein directive proposal on services liberalization in the European Union. It explains how left-wing political parties, unions and alterglobalist associations succeeded in changing the course of the European decision-making process. The analysis puts forward a comprehensive framework which builds on both public policy and social movement literature, and integrates the study of institutional as well as discursive explanatory factors. The identification of the causal mechanisms at stake demonstrates that two interrelated processes were crucial in legitimizing protest in the eyes of central decision-makers and national public opinions: the Europeanization of mobilization in connection with the framing of the debate as a conflict for the defence of a social Europe.
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