European Integration And The European Union

1784 Words Nov 16th, 2016 8 Pages
The European Union is one of most contested subjects in the study of Politics and International Relations and there are often debates over the process and effects of integration in Europe. There is no single theory of the European Union however, many theories have emerged throughout time that offer various interpretations of both how and why European integration developed. Many would argue that European integration has been the most triumphant experiment in international cooperation in all of human history (Kenealy, Peterson and Corbett 2015). The question asks to what extent are theories of international relations able to account for European integration. This essay will argue that liberalist theories are better at explaining European integration than realist and constructivist theories but to a moderate extent. This essay begins by looking at neofunctionalism as one of the earliest school of thought when looking at European integration. The second paragraph will look at the critique of realism. It will then go on to look at liberalist theories on European integration such as liberal intergovernmentalism and the Democratic Peace Theory. Finally, this essay will look at the constructivist approach to European integration.

Since the 1950’s, European integration has been and ongoing process and it is a fluid system that is constantly changing. Neofunctionalism and Institutionalism have long been dominant schools of thought when looking at the process of European integration,…
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