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The Endurance of Supranational Governance: A Consociational Interpretation of the European Union

Matthew J. Gabel
Comparative Politics
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Jul., 1998), pp. 463-475
DOI: 10.2307/422334
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422334
Page Count: 13
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The Endurance of Supranational Governance: A Consociational Interpretation of the European Union
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Abstract

European integration is remarkable because it has created, sustained, and expanded a supranational political authority without a supranational means of enforcement. The persistence of EU supranational authority can be explained through analogy to consociational theory. This theory provides an empirically verified explanation of the stability of governing institutions whose authority depends on voluntary compliance in polities that are severely segmented, such as the EU. Also, according to consociational theory current reform proposals for the geographic expansion of the EU and institutional changes to fill the "democratic deficit" may undermine the stability of EU governance.

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