Contesting Political Differentiation

European Division and the Problem of Dominance

  • Erik O. Eriksen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Erik O. Eriksen
    Pages 23-55
  3. A Politically Differentiated Europe

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 71-91
    3. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 93-119
    4. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 121-156
  4. Overcoming Illicit Divergence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 157-157
    2. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 159-190
    3. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 219-257
    4. Erik O. Eriksen
      Pages 259-266
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 267-271

About this book


This book discusses the causes and nature of political differentiation in Europe. It deals with the normative problem of differentiated integration, both in its vertical and horizontal dimensions, and addresses the problem of differentiation through a theory of democratic autonomy and dominance.  A politically differentiated EU could deprive people of their right to co-determine common affairs and have adverse effects for democratic self-rule. It could also take away the people’s ability to influence political decisions that they are ultimately affected by. This book argues that differentiation is not an innocent instrument for handling conflicts in interconnected contexts. The consequences of what might be a benign plea for sovereignty and independence can in fact lead to the opposite.

Erik O. Eriksen is Professor of Political Science and Director of ARENA – Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. His main research fields are political theory, democratic governance, public policy and European integration. His publications include the following books: The Normativity of the European Union (2014) and The European Union’s Non-Members: Independence under Hegemony (co-edited with John Erik Fossum, 2015).


European integration vertical differentiation horizontal differentiation differentiated Europe democratic rule autonomy sovereignty segmentation hegemony loose couplings EEA agreement partnership constitutionalism regional cosmopolitanism federalism eurozone structural injustice duties of solidarity Brexit democratic integration

Authors and affiliations

  • Erik O. Eriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.ARENA Centre for European StudiesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Political Science and International Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-11697-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-11698-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site