The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy Reforms

Towards a Critical Realist Approach

  • Marko Lovec

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Theoretical Framework

  3. CAP Reforms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Marko Lovec
      Pages 73-92
    3. Marko Lovec
      Pages 121-170
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 183-195

About this book


This book engages in the controversies of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, demonstrating how these are reiterated by mainstream theoretical approaches in the field.

The reforms that the European Union’s CAP underwent during the last three decades were intended to make it less trade-distorting, more taxpayer-friendly and more able to meet the new challenges of environmental concerns and rural development/territorial cohesion. The outcome of the reforms has, however, contradicted these objectives, with the controversies being reiterated by the mainstream theoretical approaches in the field.

European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy Reforms argues that these controversies are due to reductionist, rationalist and idealist assumptions with regard to the object of inquiry applied by mainstream approaches. It proposes an alternative critical approach that takes into account the role of real material factors. Critical realism is not just an alternative explanation of CAP reforms but an alternative theory of how explanations can be made, which enables readers to reflect upon and endorse the results of existing lines of research in proceeding towards deeper level theory.


International political economy Critical political economy critical realism MacSharry reform Agenda 2000 Fischler reform Health check reform agriculture cultural policy economy Europe European Union (EU) Policy realism reforms

Authors and affiliations

  • Marko Lovec
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LjubljanaSlovenia

Bibliographic information