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Neo-functionalism and European Disintegration

  • Hans Vollaard
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

Various types of spillover from one policy area to another are key to the neo-functionalist explanation of regional integration. This spillover also entails shifts in expectations, activities, and even loyalties vis-à-vis a new regional political community in which member states become increasingly locked-in, making disintegration unlikely. Neo-functionalists have tried to account for disintegrative forces in their explanation based on the concept of spillback by referring to a situation in which previous commitments are no longer met or enforced. A list of background variables conducive to integration might also be useful in explaining disintegration, particularly in comparison with other cases of regional integration across the world. However, the interconnection between these time and place-specific variables are unclear. Additionally, both the process and the outcome of disintegration cannot necessarily be written off as integration in reverse.

Keywords

European disintegration Neo-functionalism Comparative regionalism Spillback Interdependence 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Vollaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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