This month’s selection of new books starts off with a book debating the balance of powers in Brussels ‘The European Council and European Governance : The Commanding Heights of the EU’ , to which we will dedicate a separate blog post. It also includes essays on coalition building and bargaining power in Council negotiations, the evolution of the EU as crisis manager and, ahead of the elections in May, an analysis of party attitudes towards the EU in the member states.
Ilze Ruse’s ‘(Why) do neighbours cooperate? : Institutionalised coalitions and bargaining power in EU Council negotiations’
Examining the politics of Council of the European Union negotiations, the author compares the practices of ad hoc versus institutionalized coalitions of member states. It is argued that member states strive to find allies and coordinate their positions prior to formal negotiation meetings, and that institutionalized coalitions provide a bargaining advantage through: exchange of information (counterbalancing information asymmetries in the pre-negotiation stage); exchange of expertise, which allows member states to share resources and provide common lines of argument for their positions; and rhetorical action that lends more strength to normative justifications. The argument is tested through examination of Nordic-Baltic and task-specific coalitions in negotiations on climate policy, the Stockholm Programme on justice and home affairs, and the Baltic Sea Strategy.
Nicolò Conti’s ‘Party attitudes towards the EU in the member states : parties for Europe, parties against Europe’
There is growing interest in understanding how parties influence the way Europe evolves as a political issue, notably how parties structure domestic competition over European issues and they mobilise sentiments in referenda over European integration. The author analyses ten member states over two decades, until the European elections in 2009. Findings reveal that, whereas most of the comparative literature has tried to demonstrate the existence of cross-national patterns of EU politicisation, the EU is really politicised under the impact of specific national factors. On the one hand, radical parties tend to be eurosceptical everywhere (this is the only common pattern), otherwise the left is slightly more pro-European than the right in some countries but the opposite is true in other countries. On the other hand, the influence of country-specific factors such as calculations for purposes of domestic party competition (coalition-making, inter-party distancing or convergence, citizens’ attitudes and voter-targeting) and national economic interests (net recipient countries boil-down opposition to the EU) proves most relevant.
Arjen Boin’s, Magnus Ekengren’s and Mark Rhinard’s ‘The European Union as crisis manager : patterns and prospects’
From terrorist attacks to financial collapse, from natural disasters and cyber attacks to the Ukraine crisis: the European Union is increasingly being asked to manage crises, or held accountable for resolving them, inside and outside the Union. This book maps and assesses the EU’s capacities in crisis management and explains how they evolved over time. Empirically, it shows the full range of European-level capabilities related to dealing with unexpected, extreme events turning into political crises. It also touches European civil protection, a rarely examined and increasingly important area of European integration.
Download the complete list here.