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Managing European risks without a European State: transnational coordination between regulators in the European Union

Heims, Eva M. (2014) Managing European risks without a European State: transnational coordination between regulators in the European Union. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Governmental authorities are known for zealously protecting their ‘turf’, which is usually seen to inhibit them from coordinating their work with rival authorities. In the EU, however, national regulators often engage proactively in coordination with sister authorities in the forum of EU regulatory bodies. This is puzzling if one considers that this means that national authorities actively support EU bodies –potential rivals- in their work. The thesis hence examines what determines the coordinative behaviour of national regulators at a transnational level in the European Union. It analyses the engagement of UK and German authorities in transnational coordination in the regulatory regimes of drug safety, maritime safety, food safety, and banking supervision. The study demonstrates that coordinative behaviour is driven by strategic considerations of national regulators that want their coordination activities to add value to their own work, rather than being determined by their professional norms, functional pressures or the ‘shadow of hierarchy’, as stipulated in the EU governance literature. Their strategic assessments of whether they are getting something out of transnational activities are informed by the interpretative filters of the social relations they are embedded in at the domestic level. They are also fundamentally shaped by the institutional frameworks provided by the tasks of the EU regulatory bodies in which national regulators come together. This explains variation of coordination patterns across policy areas and national regulators, which the EU governance literature has not accounted for. The argument of the thesis implies that the engagement with coordination can be linked to an enhancement –rather than a loss– of bureaucratic autonomy. By identifying the determinants of coordinative behaviour at a transnational level, this thesis hence also seeks to contribute to our understanding of the conditions in which transnational administration functions. This, in turn, is vital for understanding of how capacity to manage cross-border risks is created in the absence of a ‘European’ state.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Eva M. Heims
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Lodge, Martin and Chalmers, Damian

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