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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4084

Title: Accounting for the open method of coordination: Can 'old' theories on European integration explain 'new' forms of integrations
Other Titles: Evidence from the education and training policy
Authors: Drachenberg, Ralf
Advisors: Warleigh-Lack, A
Publication Date: 2010
Publisher: School of Social Sciences Theses
Abstract: Since the European Council in Lisbon, the use of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) and OMC-type processes have become widespread across policy areas of the European Union, and also spilled over to non-governmental actors. This PhD thesis will compare and contrast two examples of OMC-like governance in the field of Education and Training which so far have been under-researched, namely the Open Method of Coordination in E&T and the Framework of Actions on the lifelong development of competencies and qualifications by the European social partners. In order to explain the creation, functioning and impact of these forms of governance, different European integration theories are tested on how they explain the results. It is expected that different theoretical approaches can explain certain aspects better than others. To fully understand all of these aspects of OMC-type governance, the combined use of rationalist and constructivist approaches is promoted. The results will show that OMC-type governance is a third way between intergovernmental and supranational policy-making and significantly contributed to the deepening of E&T policy at EU level, while at the same time guaranteeing national sovereignty, leading to a new form of integration. This thesis argues that OMC-like tools are able to serve diverse interests with respect to speed and nature of European integration. By being soft and flexible policy-tools, OMC-like tools are ideal for sensitive policy areas with very diverse national situations and represent rather a complementary form of policy-making than an alternative to the Community Method. Consequently, European integration theories need to adapt to the possibility of EU policy-making methods that are neither purely intergovernmental nor fully supranational and lead to new types of integration. OMC-like tools also illustrate the need to return to the ambition of grand theories i.e. explaining the whole picture, without relying only on one theory but rather using various approaches in a complementary fashion.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4084
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School of Social Sciences Theses

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