- How Valid is the Neo-Functionalist Explanation of the 1991...
How Valid is the Neo-Functionalist Explanation of the 1991 Decision to Move to the EMU? Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
One of the most decisive moments in the story of the European
Integration has been the adoption of an Economic and Monetary Union
(EMU) on behalf of most of its members.
Analysts from different academic backgrounds have been putting
forth a variety of theories for examining this crucial political,
economic and social event. Accordingly, some argue that one of the
most prominent economic theories of integration, also known as the
Optimum Currency Area (OCA) may provide an accurate explanation of
the dynamics of economic and monetary unions in general and the EMU
in particular. On the other hand, other analysts view the move
towards the EMU as a political project, and thus base their
rationale for its undertaking in terms of mainly, neo-functionalist
or inter-governmentalist approaches.
In conclusion, the forgoing discussion has presented the case
for considering the neo-functionalist approach for conceptualizing
the EMU. It has combined some of the insights provided by this
particular school of thought with those of Gill, whose work is
mainly based on a historical materialist perspective. In doing so,
an eclectic point of reference has been provided. The EMU is not
merely an outcome of an economically substantiated calculation, but
is rather a political project whereby a elite group expanding
throughout Europe has played a major role. Neo-functionalism has
proven to be essential in this respect due to the importance it
places on the notion of elite socialization, political agency and
de-politicization of decisions taken within the supranational
institutions of what is now the European Union, all of which are
likewise key themes of the critique presented by Gill, albeit from
a different theoretical standpoint.