Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to the Study of the European Central Bank

  • David Howarth
  • Peter Loedel


As scholars of the process of European integration, we are aware of the limitations and deficiencies of the state of theory in international relations and comparative politics. Susan Strange’s dissatisfaction with the state of theorizing should warn us of the dangers and pitfalls of employing too deterministic a mode of theoretical analysis. The diversity of theories and analytical approaches at our disposal makes the task even more problematic. Europeanist Gary Marks has noted that studying the European Union asks ‘us to think anew about political science as a discipline and how its subfields fit together’ (Marks 1997: 1). Scholars have been debating the validity of different theoretical approaches since the late 1950s (for a review of the international relations and comparative politics/political economy approaches see Bulmer and Scott (1995) and Rosamond (2000)). Notable works on European Monetary Union (for example, Overturf 1997; Kenan 1995; McNamara 1998; Frieden, Gros and Jones 2000; Eichengreen and Frieden 2001) provide a comprehensive review of various theoretical approaches to the study of monetary integration.


Monetary Policy Central Bank European Monetary System Epistemic Community Central Bank Independence 
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Copyright information

© David Howarth and Peter Loedel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Howarth
    • 1
  • Peter Loedel
    • 2
  1. 1.The School of Social and Political StudiesUniversity of EdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceWest Chester UniversityUSA

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