Neofunctionalism is a theory of regional integration which downplays globalisation and reintroduces territory into its governance. Jean Monnet 's approach to European integration , which aimed at integrating individual sectors in hopes of achieving spillover effects to further the process of integration, is said to have followed the neofunctional school's tack. The founder of the term, Ernst B. Haas , later declared the theory of neofunctionalism obsolete, a statement he revoked in his final book,  after the process of European integration started stalling in the s, when Charles de Gaulle 's "empty chair" politics paralyzed the institutions of the European Coal and Steel Community , European Economic Community , and European Atomic Energy Community. The main contributions of these authors was an employment of empiricism.
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The two main competing theories of EU integration are Neo-functionalism and Intergovernmentalism. Although these theories have been heavily criticised, amended or even abandoned, they do contain two strong theoretical integration arguments.
It is a theory of regional integration, building on the work of Ernst B. Haas, an American political scientist and Leon Lindberg, also an American political scientist. Jean Monnet's approach to European integration, which aimed at integrating individual sectors in hopes of achieving spill-over effects. Intergovernmentalism was developed in the mids and initially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann.
It suggests that national governments control the level and speed of European integration. He believed that integration, driven by national governments, was often based on the domestic political and economic issues of the day. The theory rejects the concept of the spill-over effect that Neo-functionalism proposes. He also rejects the idea that supranational organisations are on an equal level in terms of political influence as national governments.
This debate is intended to look at the core points of each theory, where they differ and which is the more convincing argument? The fate of the nation-state and the case of Western Europe. Spill-over is the following concept — in order to enjoy the full benefits of integration of the first sector you need to integrate the related sectors. There are three types of spill-over — functional spill-over, political spill-over and cultivated spill-over.
Firstly, functional spill-over, which regards spill-over in an economic context. For example, this might involve integrating coal and steel, then integrating transport systems so that coal and steel are moved around more easily. Secondly, there is Political spill-over, where political actors shift their allegiance to a new centre, for example from the national parliament to Brussels.
The counter theory to spill-over is the logic of diversity. Neo-functionalism is flawed as it assumes that integration in low politics economic will lead to integration in areas of high politics. This is not possible as issues of high politics are integral to the national interest; so integration will only be possible when national interests coincide, which is possible but unlikely.
Neo-functionalism believes areas of high politics can be cultivated into integration, whereas intergovernmentalism believes that the fate of the nation-state should never be subject to the decisions of others. Neo-functionalism proposed building a community Europe, through the concept of spillover the theory proposes economic determinism.
Spill-over will eventually lead to a completely integrated Europe with a strong central government. This has not yet been proved true, as EU integration has become a long and difficult process. This is understandable since it is not exactly easy to integrate together all those policies, economies and people. However this would most probably be the eventual result, which is already visible: The experience of the European Union EU is widely perceived as not just an example, but the model for regional integration.
In recent years, the EU has also been pursuing an increasing number of trade agreements which may in turn lead to spillover. Neo-functionalism believes in building a community Europe, but then the question is raised, what is the purpose of this new entity? There is no common outlook and getting the major powers of Europe to agree what this should be will be near impossible. Intergovernmentalists would also argue that economic determinism regarding integration is wrong.
It will always be politics that drive integration, while the motive may be economic — to solve a crisis or even just to profit — the key decisions by all actors will be political. Neo-functionalism is an example of a liberal theory of regional integration. Its focus is on human welfare needs, not political conflict and law.
As such there has been much more progress on economic integration than there has on creating a common foreign and security policy. It also accepts the independent role of international organisations and that the transformation of the international regional system towards a better order is feasible so making the European Union a project worth investing effort in.
Intergovernmentalism assumes states to be the core actors, this is difficult to deny as most economic boundaries and policies are administered by the nation state. It believes that the logic of diversity will prevail in areas of high politics e.
Neo-functionalism is an accessible theory which provides a good starting point for analysis. As a theory it has the advantages of being able to predict the outcome of integration and clearly explains which actors must be studied in order to explain integration. Neo-functionalism is too simple, it does not account for external forces well, as some states have better defined their international position more towards US hegemony than towards each other.
Neo-functionalism may provide a starting point for analysis but it requires much more to be able to explain other pressures of integration. The role of supranational entrepreneurs within the development of integration within Europe has been crucial.
Characters such as Jean Monnet envisaged and worked continuously towards uniting Europe. Later a similar role was played by Jacques Delors with the creation of the Single European Act SEA and the all-important project that would see the single market and eventually fully Economic and Monetary Union complete. These characters act in support of integration within Europe and represent an empirical example of cultivated spill-over.
Unmitigated pressure from Delors in pushing for the single market ensured that it became a reality in the time it did. The role of elites acting in their national interest better explains the logic behind integration. Key players such as Charles De Gaulle and his untiring opposition to British membership and Qualified Majority Voting QMV in the Council of Ministers and his success in gaining what he set out to achieve through the Luxembourg compromise demonstrates that the true power actually lay with him and the state.
Another example to contradicting the role Delors played was that of Margaret Thatcher. Her relentless demand for a British rebate and general demeanour in the European Council demonstrated a powerful state elite getting her way.
The single market came about because Thatcher wanted it more than most and was thus willing to compromise on certain areas of the Single European Act i. The core of Neo-functionalism that spill-over being the main driving force behind continuing integration assumed the automaticity of integration.
Once integration has started it will be a self-continuing force that will eventually integrate the whole of Europe - is clearly wrong. Supranational functionalism 'assumed first, that national sovereignty, already devalued by events, could be chewed up leaf by leaf like an artichoke'.
For example no common defence or foreign policy within the community project has been successful. This failure in high politics is fundamental, without a coordinated foreign and security policy the role of the EU in the world is open to question.
Opposition too much further enlargement reduces the role the EU can play outside the union unless a common foreign policy can be agreed. Ernst B. Haas was the founder of Neo-functionalism in , Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen identified the 3 types of spill-over within the theory. However neither author placed a time limit on how long the integration process would take. The revival of European integration in shows it may be many years between instances when Neo-functionalism is an adequate theory for explaining integration.
This may be equally coming true in the financial crisis as the Euro is necessitating further reforms and may well lead to much greater integration in order to have the tools prevent members being forced out. The political spill-over concept makes account for the fact that national elites 'will undergo a learning process, developing the perception that their interests will be better served by seeking supranational than national solutions'.
The Founder of Neo-functionalist theory Ernst B. Rosamond states that it is emerged from the process of complex web of actors pursuing their interests within a pluralist political environment. Intergovernmentalism too has proved 'out of date'. It fails to pay enough attention to supranational institutions; its focus is too exclusively on big treaty negotiations and fails to understand to increasing importance of economic issues.
Intergovernmentalism as a theory collapses in the view of actual integration taking place: the revival of integration from mids onwards.
In the s Intergovernmentalism was supplanted by 'Liberal Intergovernmentalism' from the scholar Andrew Moravcsik in his work 'Preferences and Power in the European Community: A liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach' In during the Empty Chair Crisis brought integration came to a halt and shifted the institutional balance of power away from the commission to the Council of Ministers, it shows that spillover will not always occur.
France wanted a deal on the Common Agricultural Policy but was unwilling to agree to further integration through creating majority voting in the Council of Ministers. When France took on the Presidency the normal system of mediation was lost. Bonn and Rome were unwilling to give way. This showed that states would not automatically be prepared to give up their national sovereignty and might of helped lead to the abandonment of Neo-functionalism in the s.
The revival of integration since including the Treaty of Maastricht led to co-decision procedures which are an example of Political spillover as political decisions and procedure moved to the supranational level.
Stanley Hoffman used a Neo-Realist view of International relations to build the theory of intergovernmentalism.
In a neo-realist understanding the international system is characterised by anarchy and the distribution of economic and military capabilities is of primary importance. States will not trust each other but can still reach agreement, but the agreement will be characterised by bargaining and negotiation not an automatic process! Neo-functionalism has a liberal view of the international system; whereby agreements can be easily reached.
Hoffmann, S. Ludlow, N. Neo-functionalism explains the integration of the European Union. Neo-functionalism explains the cause of integration. Neo-functionalism proposes a purpose to EU integration. Neo-functionalism - liberal theory of regional integration. Neo-functionalism provides a good starting point for EU analysis. Supranational Entrepreneurs played a crucial role in integration. The assumption of the automaticity of Spill-over is wrong.
The Founder of Neo-functionalism abandoned his own Theory Haas. The international system is characterised by anarchy and the distribution of economic and military capabilities. Create new account Request new password. Or log in with Login with Facebook Login with Twitter.
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The two main competing theories of EU integration are Neo-functionalism and Intergovernmentalism. Although these theories have been heavily criticised, amended or even abandoned, they do contain two strong theoretical integration arguments. It is a theory of regional integration, building on the work of Ernst B. Haas, an American political scientist and Leon Lindberg, also an American political scientist. Jean Monnet's approach to European integration, which aimed at integrating individual sectors in hopes of achieving spill-over effects. Intergovernmentalism was developed in the mids and initially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann. It suggests that national governments control the level and speed of European integration.