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Europeanization and policy networks in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood: the European Commission's relations with Morocco and Algeria on climate change policy

Europeanization and policy networks in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood: the European Commission's relations with Morocco and Algeria on climate change policy
Europeanization and policy networks in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood: the European Commission's relations with Morocco and Algeria on climate change policy
This research investigates how adjustment to EU rules is advanced outside Europe in the absence of membership incentive. Three waves of Europeanization are identified, which explore the role of incentives, mechanisms and actors inside and outside Europe: a ‘membership’ wave among current EU members, an‘enlargement’ wave for candidate European countries and a ‘neighbourhood’ wave outside Europe for the EU’s southern neighbourhood. EU membership plays key role inside Europe because it carries various trade and growth incentives and decision-making benefits. It also secures domestic adjustment to EU rules. However, EU membership cannot be available as an incentive for non-European countries. It can be granted only to European countries.

This thesis argues that, in the absence of the membership incentive, Europeanization requires policy networks to advance domestic adjustment in non-European countries. Policy networks are expected to bridge any conflicting agendas through collaborative relations and to develop a consensus over EU rules. Stable network relations and network management at an ‘arm’s length’ can build trust, and persuade non-European actors to advance EU policies and rules in their domestic regulatory framework.

This study tests how the European Commission advances Europeanization with Morocco and Algeria through climate change policy. Climate change is a policy field with differing priorities in the Mediterranean. While climate change mitigation is the main priority for the Commission, climate change adaptation is the core need for Morocco and Algeria. However, Europeanization is advanced only in the Moroccan case, where policy networks succeed in developing consensus over climate change mitigation. In Algeria, politics and past conflicts impede network relations leading to stagnant cooperation. Network insulation is upset and network actors fail to progress consensus. So, policy networks may not be able to secure stability in all circumstances and deliver expected results. In other words, the Commission finds neighbourhood Europeanization strategy difficult to pursue when conflict interferes with policy networks.

This analytical and empirical research contributes to studying the European Union, Europeanization and international public policy in four ways. It compensates for the gaps in the Europeanization literature and EU studies outside Europe, which overlook the role of network actors and network management. It accords a prominent role to agency, with its focus on actor-centred policy networks, even in such challenging policy settings as climate change. It provides lessons for scholars in understanding the challenges in the diffusion of EU rules among network actors and network management outside Europe, and the role of politics and conflict during that process. Finally, it demonstrates to public administrators, politicians and supranational institutions the importance of network actors and stability in their networks for consensus building in situations where there are weak incentives and soft mechanisms of integration.
Katsaris, Angelos
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Katsaris, Angelos
f61ddc2d-c986-4251-b04e-07a97fba1e76
Rhodes, Roderick
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Riggirozzi, Pia
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Zwolski, Kamil
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Katsaris, Angelos (2014) Europeanization and policy networks in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood: the European Commission's relations with Morocco and Algeria on climate change policy. University of Southampton, Department of Politics and International Relations, Doctoral Thesis, 299pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This research investigates how adjustment to EU rules is advanced outside Europe in the absence of membership incentive. Three waves of Europeanization are identified, which explore the role of incentives, mechanisms and actors inside and outside Europe: a ‘membership’ wave among current EU members, an‘enlargement’ wave for candidate European countries and a ‘neighbourhood’ wave outside Europe for the EU’s southern neighbourhood. EU membership plays key role inside Europe because it carries various trade and growth incentives and decision-making benefits. It also secures domestic adjustment to EU rules. However, EU membership cannot be available as an incentive for non-European countries. It can be granted only to European countries.

This thesis argues that, in the absence of the membership incentive, Europeanization requires policy networks to advance domestic adjustment in non-European countries. Policy networks are expected to bridge any conflicting agendas through collaborative relations and to develop a consensus over EU rules. Stable network relations and network management at an ‘arm’s length’ can build trust, and persuade non-European actors to advance EU policies and rules in their domestic regulatory framework.

This study tests how the European Commission advances Europeanization with Morocco and Algeria through climate change policy. Climate change is a policy field with differing priorities in the Mediterranean. While climate change mitigation is the main priority for the Commission, climate change adaptation is the core need for Morocco and Algeria. However, Europeanization is advanced only in the Moroccan case, where policy networks succeed in developing consensus over climate change mitigation. In Algeria, politics and past conflicts impede network relations leading to stagnant cooperation. Network insulation is upset and network actors fail to progress consensus. So, policy networks may not be able to secure stability in all circumstances and deliver expected results. In other words, the Commission finds neighbourhood Europeanization strategy difficult to pursue when conflict interferes with policy networks.

This analytical and empirical research contributes to studying the European Union, Europeanization and international public policy in four ways. It compensates for the gaps in the Europeanization literature and EU studies outside Europe, which overlook the role of network actors and network management. It accords a prominent role to agency, with its focus on actor-centred policy networks, even in such challenging policy settings as climate change. It provides lessons for scholars in understanding the challenges in the diffusion of EU rules among network actors and network management outside Europe, and the role of politics and conflict during that process. Finally, it demonstrates to public administrators, politicians and supranational institutions the importance of network actors and stability in their networks for consensus building in situations where there are weak incentives and soft mechanisms of integration.

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Published date: 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372270
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372270
PURE UUID: f922a933-6cb2-414a-ac55-e004917bd54e
ORCID for Roderick Rhodes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1886-2392
ORCID for Pia Riggirozzi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5809-890X

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Date deposited: 02 Dec 2014 11:44
Last modified: 19 Nov 2019 01:41

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