Conditionality and the Future of ‘Europe’

  • Joel T. Shelton
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The fragility of conditionality as a technique of governance emerges in part from the ‘technical’ limits of its instruments: ill-defined fields of intervention, imprecise objects, insufficient financial support, inadequate implementation infrastructure, and agents sometimes working at cross-purposes — in short, a relay that can short-circuit at various points. European Commission officials have continually worked to overcome these limits: fields of intervention have been reimagined, financial assistance has been restructured, and the instruments of conditionality have been adjusted, refined, and expanded over time. The conditionality that has emerged from this ad hoc configuration is neither a centralized set of practices dictated from Brussels nor a strategic game between a unitary European Union and candidate state counterparts acting as more or less rational persons, but a bundle of diverse activities coordinated through the operation of several instruments and conducted by a range of agents who are differentially positioned across space and time, working within and across spaces of governance usually designated as international, national, and local.


Human Capital Political Economy Social Inclusion United Nations Development Programme Human Resource Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Joel T. Shelton 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel T. Shelton
    • 1
  1. 1.Lafayette CollegeUSA

Personalised recommendations