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Reforming EU economic governance: a view from (and on) the principal-agent approach

Hodson, Dermot (2009) Reforming EU economic governance: a view from (and on) the principal-agent approach. Comparative European Politics 7 (4), pp. 455-475. ISSN 1472-4790.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/cep.2008.46

Abstract

This paper asks what European Union (EU) economic governance can learn from the principal-agent approach and vice versa. The answer to the first part of this question is that a stylized relationship between the Council of Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) acting as a collective principal and the Member States acting as multiple agents can shed light on factors that may have influenced the design, breakdown and subsequent reform of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Lisbon Strategy. The answer to the second part is that applying principal-agent analysis to EU economic governance illustrates many of the advantages and limitations of this heuristic device. On the plus side, it shows that principal-agent analysis can be used to understand new modes of EU governance as well as traditional forms of supranational policy making. On the minus side, the sheer applicability of this approach raises methodological concerns with regard to the specification and over-determination of principal-agent relationships.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): principal-agent, EU economic governance, stability and growth pact, Lisbon Strategy
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2011 09:58
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2143

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