Realism, Intergovernmentalism, and European Disintegration

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


(Neo-)realist and (liberal-)intergovernmentalist theories explain cooperation among states as a result of the international distribution of power among states seeking security or of states’ desire to coordinate international (economic) interdependence on the basis of a set of principles, norms, rules, and procedures at the behest of domestic actors. Application of these theories to the issue of European disintegration is problematic, however, as they assume that the EU will simply fall apart into its constituent states. They should, instead, explain why actors would necessarily opt for the template of the territorial state again after being enmeshed in the EU’s governance network. With their exclusive focus on Security or economic factors, these theories also fail to account for the multicausal nature of process of (dis)integration.


European disintegration Realism Intergovernmentalism Balance of power Hegemony Regimes 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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