Integration and Disintegration: Two-Level Games in the EU

  • Waltraud SchelkleEmail author
Part of the Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy book series (SPERIRP)


The centrifugal tendencies of the EU make us aware that our theories of European integration were not formulated to explain disintegration. Furthermore, attempts to explain disintegration, notably the new intergovernmentalism, portray these tendencies as idiosyncratically European and dysfunctional. But we can observe disintegration and collective action failure elsewhere, and not all new institution-building is dysfunctional. This chapter interprets recent EU institution-building and its limits in light of the concept of two-level games, both in its classic instrumental version of Putnam (1988) and in a more recent normative version developed by Bellamy and Weale (2015). Framing the new economic governance of the EU as the result of two-level games can help us see the specific collective action problems of an incomplete union and the general problems of international cooperation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European InstituteLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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