Policy convergence: A passing fad or a new integrating focus in European Union studies?

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Abstract

Policy convergence is an established theme in comparative political analysis. Policy convergence research certainly has the potential to add a fresh perspective to a surprisingly large number of active debates within European Union (EU) studies, such as those concerning Europeanization, globalization, policy transfer and 'new' modes of co-ordination. However, it remains a very heterogeneous research field, dominated by American comparativists. With some exceptions, the term does not (at least yet) excite as much interest among scholars of the EU as perhaps it could. This commentary seeks to assess the extent to which the papers in this special issue succeed in fashioning the broad issue of policy convergence into a cumulative and enduring body of work within EU scholarship. It finds that they do a great deal to define key terms and explanatory variables. However, the contributors concede the need to do much more to address the vexed question of causality and to feed their work into the mainstream of EU scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-953
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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