Theoretical Argument and Expectations

  • Adrienne HéritierEmail author
  • Katharina L. Meissner
  • Catherine Moury
  • Magnus G. Schoeller
Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)


This chapter develops the book’s theoretical argument and expectations for which we draw on rational choice institutionalism as well as sociological institutionalism. First, in Chapter 2.1, we identify reasons for the EP’s empowerment based on rationalist bargaining theories of institutional change. We assume that actors such as the EP seek to maximise their institutional powers through the use of strategies. Chapter 2.1 develops a list of strategies and theorises the conditions of their success and failure. These strategies encompass delaying, issue- and arena-linkage, alliance-building, ‘moving first’ and sanctioning. Second, Chapter 2.2 develops a theoretical argument for the EP’s self-empowerment based on norm-based explanations which complements our rationalist bargaining perspective. Norm-based explanations hold that the belief in the EU as a democratic polity helps to explain institutional change to the benefit of the EP. In Chapter 2.2, we identify three mechanisms based on this approach: the logic of appropriateness, communicative action and rhetorical action. Relying on these three mechanisms, we develop a set of strategies of EP empowerment and theorise their conditions of success and failure. These strategies are providing expertise, shaming, and mobilising external actors or public opinion.


European parliament Empowerment Informal rules Rational choice Institutionalism Sociological institutionalism Strategies 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne Héritier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katharina L. Meissner
    • 2
  • Catherine Moury
    • 3
  • Magnus G. Schoeller
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Political and Social Sciences and Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced StudiesEuropean University InstituteSan Domenico di Fiesole, FlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Centre for European Integration Research, IPWUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Universidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Centre for European Integration Research, IPWUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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