The Political Economy of the European Union

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The Political Economy of the European Union

Institutions, Policy and Economic Growth

9781840649109 Edward Elgar Publishing
Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, Professor of Comparative Politics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Publication Date: March 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84064 910 9 Extent: 208 pp
This book offers a generic explanation of the political economy of the EU, demonstrating in a clear and comprehensive way how the present institutional set-up makes it vulnerable to lobbyism, corruption and the destruction of social capital. Gert Tinggaard Svendsen contends that this ‘EU disease’ may be avoided by strengthening the power of the EU Parliament at the expense of the EU Commission. The book also discusses issues surrounding policy design, international negotiations on climate change and renewable energy sources.

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Contents
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This book offers a generic explanation of the political economy of the EU, demonstrating in a clear and comprehensive way how the present institutional set-up makes it vulnerable to lobbyism, corruption and the destruction of social capital. Gert Tinggaard Svendsen contends that this ‘EU disease’ may be avoided by strengthening the power of the EU Parliament at the expense of the EU Commission. The book also discusses issues surrounding policy design, international negotiations on climate change and renewable energy sources.

Using an interdisciplinary framework, the author examines how the current institutional set-up of the EU will determine future economic performance and will adversely affect policy outcomes. He looks at whether fundamental EU policies, such as the CAP, are consistent with economic growth or whether these policies will instead distort markets, leading to economic decline. Focusing in detail on international climate negotiations and wind energy, the author explores the way in which the design of a policy proposal can be affected by the interactions between interest groups and the institutions and bureaucrats of the EU. The case of greenhouse gas emissions trading is a unique example because it allows the author to actually measure lobbyism as the difference between the proposed design and the final EU directive.

The interdisciplinary approach of the book and the original treatment of a very pertinent subject will appeal to academics, economists, political scientists and decision-makers. It will also interest and inform a wide readership in the social sciences, particularly those with an interest in the institutional structure of the EU.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . an immensely valuable discussion of several important EU environmental policies and how public choice theory can be applied not only to understand why these policies were structured the way they are, but also how they can be improved so as not to impede economic growth in the EU.’
– Russell S. Sobel, Public Choice

‘. . . this readable, thought provoking and well constructed work should be a must for students of environmental politics.’
– Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Environmental Politics

‘The European Union has been relatively neglected by public choice/political economy scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. This fine book helps to redress this imbalance. It builds on the work of Mancur Olson on interest groups, and demonstrates the important role that they play in affecting policy outcomes in the EU. The book is dedicated to Olson. It is a worthy tribute.’
– Dennis C. Mueller, University of Vienna, Austria
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Political Economy 3. European Union 4. Interest Group Theory and the Case of Environmental Regulation 5. International Climate Negotiations and Wind Energy 6. Conclusion Bibliography Index

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