Rational Choice and the Governance Structure of the European Union: An Introduction

  • Peter Moser
  • Gerald Schneider


The European Union is increasingly characterized by a complex system of countervailing institutions. One attempt to understand the relationships between the member states and competing institutions within the EU is the theory of strategic integration. The rational choice analysis of European integration encompasses both economics and political science and is largely devoted to institutional issues. This essay offers a brief introduction to the strategic study of the European Union and a selective review of the literature on this topic. We also summarize and discuss the main contributions in this volume and point out future areas of research.


European Union Monetary Policy Public Choice Rational Choice European Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bernholz et. al. (1993), ‘A Proposal for a European Constitution. Report by the European Constitutional Group,’ European Policy Forum, London.Google Scholar
  2. Brams, S. and P. Affuso (1976), ‘Power and Size: A New Paradox,’ Theory and Decision, 7, 29–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buchanan, J. M. (1987a), ‘The Constitution of Economic Policy,’ American Economic Review, 77, 243–250.Google Scholar
  4. Buchanan, J. M. (1987b), ‘Constitutional Economics,’ The New Palgrave, A Dictionary of Economics, 1, London: Macmillan, 585–588.Google Scholar
  5. Buchanan, J. M. (1991), ‘Möglichkeiten für eine europäische Verfassung: Eine amerikanische Sicht’, ORDO, 42, 127–137.Google Scholar
  6. Burley, A.-M. and W. Mattli (1993), ‘Europe before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration,’ International Organization, 47, 41–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crombez, C. (1996), ‘Legislative Procedures in the European Community,’ British Journal of Political Science, 26, 199–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Downs, A. (1957), ‘An Economic Theory of Democracy,’ London: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  9. Feld, L. and G. Kirchgässner (1996), ‘Fiskalischer Wettbewerb in der Europäischen Union: Wird der Wohlfahrtsstaat zusammenbrechen?’ Wirtschaftsdienst, 2, 87–91.Google Scholar
  10. Frey, B. S. and R. Eichenberger (1995), ‘Competition Among Jurisdictions. The Idea of FOCJ,’ L Gerken (ed.), Competitions Among Jurisdictions, London: MacMillan, 209–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garrett, G. (1995), ‘The Politics of Legal Integration in the European Union,’ International Organization, 49, 171–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Garrett, G. and G. Tsebelis (1996), ‘An Institutional Critique of Intergovernmentalism,’ International Organization, 50, 269–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holler, M., and J. Kellermann (1978), ‘Die a-priori-Abstimmungsstärke im europäischen Parlament,’ Kyklos, 31, 107–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnston, R. (1977), ‘National Sovereignty and National Power in European Institutions,’ Environment and Planning, 9, 569–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kilroy, B. A. (1995), ‘Member State Control or Judicial Independence: The Integrative Role of the European Court of Justice, 1958–1994,’ Paper prepared for delivery at the 1995 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 31 — September 3, 1995 (Revised version).Google Scholar
  16. Kirchgässner, G. (1994), ‘Constitutional Economics and Its Relevance for the Evolution of Rules,’ Kyklos, 47, 321–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirchgässner, G. and W. W. Pommerehne (1996), ‘Tax Harmonization and Tax Competition in the European Union: Lessons form Switzerland,’ Journal of Public Economics, 60, 351–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Laver, M. and K. A. Shepsle (1996), ‘Making and breaking governments,’ New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Madison, J., A. Hamilton, and J. Jay (1788/1987), ‘The Federalist Papers,’ London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  20. Marks, G. et al. (1996a), ‘Competencies, Cracks, and Conflicts: Regional Mobilization in the European Union,’ Comparative Political Studies, 29,2, 164–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marks, G. et al. (1996b), Governance in the European Union, London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moravcsik, A. (1994), ‘Why the European Community Strengthens the State: Domestic Politics and International Cooperation,’ Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, New York, 1–4 September 1994.Google Scholar
  23. Moser, P. (1994), ‘Constitutional Protection of Economic Rights: the Swiss and U.S Experience in Comparison,’ Constitutional Political Economy, 5, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moser, P. (1996), ‘The European Parliament as a Conditional Agenda Setter: What are the Conditions? A Critique of Tsebelis (1994), American Political Science Review, 90, 834–838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moser, P. (1997), ‘A Theory of the Conditional Influence of the European Parliament in the Cooperation Procedure’, Public Choice, 91, 333–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moser, P. (1998), ‘The Impact of Legislative Institutions on Public Policy: A Survey’, European Journal of Political Economy 478.Google Scholar
  27. Mueller, D. C. (1996), ‘Constitutional Democracy’, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Oates, W. E. (1972), ‘Fiscal Federalism’, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  29. Putnam, R. D. (1988), ‘Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games,’ International Organization, 42, 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Riker, W. H. (1964), ‘Federalism: Origin, Operation, Maintenance’, Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  31. Riker, W. H. (1982), ‘Liberalism Against Populism’, San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  32. Romer, T. and H. Rosenthal (1979), ‘Political Resource Allocation, Controlled Agendas, and the Status Quo,’ Public Choice, 33, 27–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Scharpf, F. W. (1988), ‘The Joint-Decision Trap: Lessons From German Federalism and European Integration,’ Public Administration, 66, 239–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schneider, F. (1992), ‘The Federal and Fiscal Structures of Representative and Direct Democracy as a Model for a European Federal Union: Some Ideas Using the Public Choice Approach,’ Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, 3, 403–437.Google Scholar
  35. Schneider, G. (1995), ‘The Limits of Self-Reform: Institution-building in the European Union,’ European Journal of International Relations I, 59–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schneider, G. (1999), ‘Strategic Integration: Domestic Politics and Regional Cooperation in Europe’, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  37. Schneider, G. and L.-E. Cederman (1994), ‘The Change of Tide in Political Cooperation: A Limited Information Model of European Integration,’ International Organization, 48, 633–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schneider, G. and P. A. Weitsman (1996), ‘The Punishment Trap: Integration Referendums as Popularity Contests,’ Comparative Political Studies, 28,4, 582–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shepsle, K. A. (1979), ‘Institutional Arrangements and Equilibrium in Multidimensional Voting Models,’ American Journal of Political Science, 23, 27–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Siebert, H. and M. J. Koop (1990), ‘Institutional Competition: A concept for Europe?’ Aussenwirtschaft, 45, 439–62.Google Scholar
  41. Sinn, H.-W. (1990), ‘Tax Harmonization or Tax Competition in Europe,’ European Economic Review, 43, 489–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sinn, H.-W. (1995), ‘Implikationen der vier Grundfreiheiten für die nationale Fiskalpolitik,’ Wirtschaftsdienst, 10, 562–568.Google Scholar
  43. Steunenberg, B. (1994), ‘Decision Making under Different Institutional Arrangements: Legislation by the European Community,’ Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 150, 642–669.Google Scholar
  44. Tiebout, C. M. (1956), ‘A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures,’ Journal of Political Economy, 64, 416–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tsebelis, G. (1990), ‘Nested Games: Rational Choice in Comparative Politics’, Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  46. Tsebelis, G. (1994, 1995), ‘The Power of the European Parliament as a Conditional Agenda Setters,’ American Political Science Review, 88, 128–142 (Unabridged version, Gerald Schneider et al. (eds.), ‘Towards a New Europe: Stops and Starts in Regional Integration’, CT: Praeger, 75–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vaubel, R. (1994), ‘The Public Choice Analysis of European Integration: A Survey,’ European Journal of Political Economy, 10, 227–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vaubel, R. (1995), ‘The Centralization of Western Europe: The Common Market, Political Integration, and Democracy. Hobart Paper 127. London: Institute of Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  49. Vaubel, R. (1996), ‘Constitutional Safeguards Against Centralization in Federal States: An International Cross-Section Analysis’ Constiutional Political Economy, 7, 79–102.Google Scholar
  50. Weingast, B. R. (1993), ‘Constitutions as Governance Structures: The Political Foundation of Secure Markets,’ Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 149, 286–311.Google Scholar
  51. Weingast, B. R. and W. Marshall (1988), ‘The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets. Constitutions as Governance Structures: The Political Foundation of Secure Markets,’ Journal of Political Economy, 96, 132–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Moser and Gerald Schneider 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Moser
  • Gerald Schneider

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations