West European Politics
Taylor & Francis
About: West European Politics is an academic journal published by Taylor & Francis. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Politics & European union. It has an ISSN identifier of 0140-2382. Over the lifetime, 2438 publications have been published receiving 83558 citations. The journal is also known as: WEP.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the growth of regulation in Europe, at the national and community levels, and suggest that political accountability can be ensured by a variety of substantive and procedural controls, among which judicial review is especially important.
Abstract: Privatization and deregulation have created the conditions for the rise of the regulatory state to replace the dirigiste state of the past. Reliance on regulation ‐ rather than public ownership, planning or centralised administration — characterises the methods of the regulatory state. This study examines the growth of regulation in Europe, at the national and Community levels. It stresses the advantages of this mode of policy making, but also recognises its problems. It is suggested that political accountability can be ensured by a variety of substantive and procedural controls, among which judicial review is especially important. Executive oversight and co‐ordination may be improved by using new tools of public management like the regulatory budget or the regulatory clearing house.
TL;DR: A large body of evidence, analysed using three different approaches, including cohort analysis, comparison of rich and poor countries, and examination of actual trends observed over the past 35 years, all points to the conclusion that major cultural changes are occurring, and that they reflect a process of intergenerational change linked with rising levels of existential security as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In 1971 it was hypothesised that intergenerational value changes were taking place. More than a generation has passed since then, and today it seems clear that the predicted changes have occurred. A large body of evidence, analysed using three different approaches – (1) cohort analysis; (2) comparisons of rich and poor countries; (3) examination of actual trends observed over the past 35 years – all points to the conclusion that major cultural changes are occurring, and that they reflect a process of intergenerational change linked with rising levels of existential security.
TL;DR: The authors argues that instead of diverging in terms of national models, Western European states' policies on immigrant integration are increasingly converging, and one convergent trend is obligatory civic integration courses and tests for newcomers.
Abstract: This article argues that, instead of diverging in terms of national models, Western European states' policies on immigrant integration are increasingly converging. One convergent trend is examined in detail, obligatory civic integration courses and tests for newcomers. While a comparison of the Netherlands, France and Germany reveals considerable national variation in implementing civic integration, this variation tends to be incompatible with traditional national model assumptions. Moreover, more noteworthy than variation is the shared feature of civic integration that liberal goals are pursued with illiberal means, making it an instance of repressive liberalism.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors distinguish between two main concepts of accountability: accountability as virtue and accountability as a mechanism, and argue that distinguishing more clearly between these two concepts can solve at least some of the current conceptual conf...
Abstract: This paper distinguishes between two main concepts of accountability: accountability as a virtue and accountability as a mechanism. In the former case, accountability is used primarily as a normative concept, as a set of standards for the evaluation of the behaviour of public actors. Accountability or, more precisely, being accountable, is seen as a positive quality in organisations or officials. Hence, accountability studies often focus on normative issues, on the assessment of the actual and active behaviour of public agents. In the latter case, accountability is used in a narrower, descriptive sense. It is seen as an institutional relation or arrangement in which an actor can be held to account by a forum. Here, the locus of accountability studies is not the behaviour of public agents, but the way in which these institutional arrangements operate. The present paper argues that distinguishing more clearly between these two concepts of accountability can solve at least some of the current conceptual conf...
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the process of national adjustment to the European Union, focusing on the impact of European integration on member state policies, practices and politics, and argue that external pressures and problems, the "fit" between EU-level policies and national policy legacies and preferences, actors' problem-solving capacity in a given political-institutional setting, or ideas and discourse are the factors that best explain policy change.
Abstract: Since the mid-1980s, the European Union, together with its member states, has undergone a major process of transformation. First with the race to the single market by 1992, then with the run-up to European Monetary Union (EMU) by 1999, and now with enlargement, the EU has seen an explosion of new policies with a panoply of new practices in the context of an expanding European economy and an emerging European polity. In attempting to describe, understand and explain the EU’s transformative experiences, the study of policy change in Europe has also undergone dramatic transformation. Empirically, from an almost exclusive focus on European integration, that is, on the process of building a European space in terms of EU-level policies, practices and politics, scholars have added a concern with Europeanisation, that is, with the impact of European integration on member state policies, practices and politics. Conceptually, on top of the ‘first generation’ studies centred on explaining the process of formation of a European sphere, where scholarly debates divided over whether the EU was fundamentally intergovernmental or neo-functionalist and, more recently, liberal intergovernmentalist, supranational, multi-level, or network-based, we now have a ‘second generation’ of studies that concentrates instead on the process of national adjustment to the EU. These scholarly debates differ over which factors best explain policy change in the process of adjustment – whether external pressures and problems, the ‘fit’ between EU-level policies and national policy legacies and preferences, actors’ problem-solving capacity in a given political-institutional setting, or ideas and discourse (see Heritier 2001; Cowles et al. 2001; Featherstone and Radaelli 2003). Methodologically, the study of European policy change has also become increasingly split among those who emphasise interest-based rationality and game-theoretic behaviour; institutional path-dependencies and historically-shaped patterns of development; social constructions of action, culture and identity; or, most recently, ideas and discourse.