Understanding the Dynamics of European Politics

Maurice I. Yolles


There are fears that the development of a Europe of Variable Geometry, where distinct countries are able to select their policy preferences from a menu of historical policy options rather than signing up for new policy initiatives, provides a basis for destabilizing the European Project. However, the paper shows that this fear has no real basis. The reason is that when the political processes of the Project are considered in terms of political culture, two culturally based political factions can be argued to have emerged in Europe. Here, the distinct variable cultural positions actually stabilise the interactive political process. A detailed explanation of this is provided through both historical processes and the use of well developed theory.


political culture; enlargement; regulation; political science

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