1st Edition

European Union Enlargement Material interests, community norms and anomie

By Thomas Mehlhausen Copyright 2016
    270 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The continuous expansion of the European Union has transformed its very own self-conception. While Eastern enlargement was widely celebrated as the ‘reuniting of Europe’, the sheer number of applicants, their low economic development and the need for new states to transform in accordance with EU values required considerable adjustments to the EU’s self-image.

    By examining the European Council’s contentious approval of the Mediterranean and Central and Eastern European countries in the 1970s and 1990s, this book investigates why the European Union enlarges. Based on new and hitherto not analysed data, it introduces the concept of ‘anomie’ to the discourse and, in doing so, makes a timely contribution to the literature of constitutional politics and enlargement of the European Union.

    This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of the European Union, area studies (European studies, central and east European studies, Mediterranean studies) and more broadly comparative politics and constitutional politics.

    1 Introduction Part I Theory Test: Eastern and Southern European Union Enlargements 2 Theoretical Perspectives on European Union Enlargement 3 European Union Eastern Enlargement 4 European Community Southern Enlargements Part II Theory Building: Anomie and Diffuse Decision Contexts 5 The European Union’s Liberal Identity and its Constitutive Norms 6 German Unification, Maastricht and the Prospect of a Wider Europe 7 Solving the Double Enlargement Puzzle: Opportunities and Constraints in Diffuse Decision Contexts 8 Conclusions


    Thomas Mehlhausen is a Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Political Theory at the University of Potsdam, Germany.

    'This book contributes to the understanding of European Union enlargement through the lenses of international relations (IR) theories.  Mehlhausen (Univ. of Potsdam, Germany) is most gifted when writing about theories; any IR student can benefit from his sophisticated discussions in chapters 2, 5, and 7.  His breadth of understanding is indicated by impressive bibliographies for each chapter, and he shows how constructivists have overlooked enlargement debates in surprising ways—particularly because the literature on European and EU identity is a burgeoning field. Summing Up: Recommended.' - S. L. McMillan, Lander University, CHOICE Reviews 2016