Methodological approaches to the Europeanization in EU new member and candidate states
MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
elibrary_id: 1147867 | ORCID: 0000-0001-6894-3978 | RESEARCHER_ID: AHC-4463-2022
Article received: 2021.09.16. Accepted: 2022.06.14
The article reviews the existing methodological approaches to the domestic impact of European Integration which constitutes the research field of Europeanization. The enlargement of the European Union posed a question on its transformative power beyond the then-existing borders. This framework implies Central and Eastern European countries that are now considered as new members and the actual candidate states from the “Western Balkans” region. Analytical focus is based on the proposition that above-mentioned states, as opposed to the old EU members, experience strict conditionality during the accession process. One-sided imposition of rules reflects the power asymmetry and leads to the necessity to comply with conditionality principles of European Integration regardless of whether they are in line with domestic institutional structure or sensitive aspects of national identity. Another similarity of new member and candidate states is their socialist legacy which of itself contradicts the EU’s normative set. It is argued that the dominance of new institutionalism approaches to analyzing the EU integration impact on domestic politics, policy and polity of the countries in the different phases of accession is problematic. Principal limits of such approaches, including their constructivist versions, are attributed to the positivist epistemology that is not being put into question. Recent developments have revealed the importance of resorting to social identities in explaining compliance or non-compliance issues but still this category is being used in the framework of actors’ behavior. At the same time, the impact of European integration on the content of identities as discourses is almost completely ignored. Poststructuralist perspective is regarded as highly promising methodological tool to understand the Europeanization in the context of power asymmetry.
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