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This book advances a novel interpretation of EU governance. Its central claim is that the EU's regulatory successes within-and increasingly beyond-its borders rest on the emergence of a recursive process of framework rule making and revision by European and national actors across a wide range of policy domains. In this architecture, framework goals and measures for gauging their achievement are established by joint action of the Member States and EU institutions. Lower-level units are given the freedom to advance these ends as they see fit. But in return for this autonomy, they must report regularly on their performance and participate in a peer review in which their results are compared with those of others pursuing different means to the same general ends. The framework goals, performance measures, and decision-making procedures are themselves periodically revised by the actors, including new participants whose views come to be seen as indispensable to full and fair deliberation.
The editors' introduction sets out the core features of this experimentalist architecture and contrasts it to conventional interpretations of EU governance, especially the principal-agent conceptions underpinning many contemporary theories of democratic sovereignty and effective, legitimate law making. Subsequent chapters by an interdisciplinary group of European and North American scholars explore the architecture's applicability across a series of key policy domains, including data privacy, financial market regulation, energy, competition, food safety, GMOs, environmental protection, anti-discrimination, fundamental rights, justice and home affairs, and external relations. Their authoritative studies show both how recent developments often take an experimentalist turn but also admit of multiple, contrasting interpretations or leave open the possibility of reversion to more familiar types of governance. The results will be indispensable for all those concerned with the nature of the EU and its contribution to contemporary governance beyond the nation-state.
Charles F. Sabel is Professor of Law and Social Science at Columbia Law School, a post he has held since 1995. He was formerly the Ford International Professor of Social Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His publications include Learning by Monitoring (2006, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), A Constitution of Democratic Experimentalism (with Michael C. Dorf, 2006, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press) Can We Put an
End to Sweatshops? A New Democracy Form on Raising Global Labor Standards (with Archon Fung and Dara O'Rourke, 2001, Beacon Press), Worlds of Possibility (ed. with Jonathan Zeitlin, 1997, Cambridge University Press), Ireland: Local Partnerships and Social Innovation (with the LEED Programme of the OECD, 1996), The Second
Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity (with Michael Piore, 1984, Basics Books), Work and Politics: The Division of Labor in Industry (1982, Cambridge University Press).
Jonathan Zeitlin is Professor of Public Policy and Governance within the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directed the European Union Center of Excellence and the Center for World Affairs and Global Economy (WAGE). He has published extensively on new forms of governance in the European Union, as well as on comparative and historical analysis of business organization, employment relations, and
public policy. He is frequently invited to provide policy advice and present his research on EU governance to European institutions, national governments, think tanks, and NGOs. Among his recent books are Changing European Employment and Welfare Regimes (Routledge, 2009); The Oxford Handbook of
Business History (OUP, 2007); and The Open Method of Coordination in Action (PIE-Peter Lang, 2005).
Release date Australia
February 4th, 2010
Edited by Charles F. Sabel
Edited by Jonathan Zeitlin
Country of Publication
Oxford University Press
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