Skip to main content

Political Integration: Definitions and Hypotheses

  • Chapter
  • 131 Accesses


Functionalism failed as theory for several reasons, but one stands out: it contained no theory of politics. It assumed that economic problems could be solved by technical experts apart from the political process. Without some understanding of politics, however, it could not explain why certain choices were made. From the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, a group predominantly composed of U.S. social scientists, led by Ernst Haas at the University of California-Berkeley, sought to explain the development of the European Community by addressing the deficiencies of functionalism. Neofunctionalists, as the new theorists were called, drew on democratic theory, systems theory, group theory, and a host of other approaches to produce a scientifically rigorous explanation for European integration that they also believed held predictive power.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Copyright information

© 1994 Macmillan Publishers Limited

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Lindberg, L.N. (1994). Political Integration: Definitions and Hypotheses. In: Nelsen, B.F., Stubb, A.CG. (eds) The European Union. Palgrave, London.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-333-64675-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-23984-9