European Integration and Consensus Politics in the Low Countries: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

European Integration and Consensus Politics in the Low Countries

1st Edition

Edited by Hans Vollaard, Jan Beyers, Patrick Dumont


250 pages

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The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are well-known cases of consensus politics. Decision-making in the Low Countries has been characterized by broad involvement, power sharing and making compromises. These countries were also founding member states of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. However, the relationship between European integration and the tradition of domestic consensus politics remains unclear.

In order to explore this relationship this book offers in-depth studies of a wide variety of political actors such as governments, parliaments, political parties, courts, ministries and interest groups as well as key policy issues such as the ratification of EU treaties and migration policy. The authors focus not only on Europeanization, but also analyse whether European integration may gradually undermine the fundamental characteristics of consensus politics in the Low Countries. Drawing on consociationalism and Europeanization research, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of Europeanization in these three EU member states as well as a better understanding of the varieties of consensus politics across and within these countries.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of European studies, European integration, European law, political science, European political economy and comparative politics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements List of tables and figures List of abbreviations Author information 1 Introduction: European integration and consensus politics Jan Beyers, Hans Vollaard and Patrick Dumont 2 Coping with Domestic and European Complexity: How Consensus Politics is Maintained in the Low Countries' Governments Patrick Dumont, Arco Timmermans and Catherine Moury 3 European Integration and the Flexibility of Consensus Politics in the Parliaments of the Low Countries Astrid Spreitzer and Arco Timmermans 4 The Impact of European Integration on Within-Party Organizational Dynamics: More or Less Consensus Politics? Benoît Rihoux, Astrid Spreitzer and Ruud Koole 5 Europeanization, constitutional review and consensus politics in the Low Countries Patricia Popelier and Wim Voermans 6 Consensus politics as administrative practice: The Europeanization of external advice seeking? Caspar F. van den Berg, Caelesta Braun and Trui Steen 7 Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil: European integration and interest group politics in the Low Countries Jan Beyers, Caelesta Braun and Markus Haverland 8 Same as It Ever Was? The (Lack of) Influence of European Integration on Corporatism in the Low Countries Barbara Vis and Jaap Woldendorp 9 Day-to-day EU Coordination in the Benelux: From Domestic Consensus Politics to Consensual EU Coordination - Peter Bursens, Kathleen Hielscher and Mendeltje van Keulen 10 European integration, consensus politics and family migration policy in Belgium and the Netherlands Maarten Vink, Saskia Bonjour and Ilke Adam 11 Ratifying the European Constitutional Treaty by referendum: The end of consensus politics? Joop van Holsteyn and Hans Vollaard 12 Epilogue Rudy Andeweg

About the Editors

Hans Vollaard is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Jan Beyers is Professor of Political Science and the Director of Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics at the University of Antwerp (ACIM), Belgium. He is also Visiting Research Professor at Agder University (Norway).

Patrick Dumont is a Researcher at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Luxembourg and co-founder of the SElection and DEselection of Political Elites (SEDEPE) international network.

About the Series

Europe and the Nation State

This series explores the complex relationship between nation-states and European integration and the political, social, economic and policy implications of this interaction. The series examines issues such as:

  • the impact of the EU on the politics and policy-making of the nation-state and vice-versa
  • the effects of expansion of the EU on individual nation states in Europe
  • the relationship between the EU and non-European nation states.

Learn more…

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