Title

European Union Member States in Cross-National Analyses: The Dangers of Neglecting Supranational Policymaking

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2016

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

Many empirical models make assumptions about the primacy of domestic politics that fail to accommodate new trends in supranational policy making. Scholars now acknowledge that national political decisions often depend on other countries, international institutions, or global economic conditions. More interestingly, many sovereign countries have either lost or purposely delegated away policy autonomy to supranational institutions. For example, fixed exchange rates, regional trade agreements, and transnational regulations create the distinct possibility that domestic politics no longer provide a sufficient explanation for many policy outcomes. In some respects, two types of countries now exist: those that retain decision-making authority over a given policy space and those that do not. Combining both types of countries into a larger cross-national sample may generate flawed substantive results and fails to adequately test hypotheses. I use the example of European Union (EU) governance over trade policy to demonstrate the empirical dangers of disregarding differences in policy autonomy among countries.

Publication Title

International Studies Quarterly

Volume

60

Issue

1

First Page

98

Last Page

106

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