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Integration in Europe has been a slow incremental process focusing largely on economic matters. Policy makers have tried to develop greater support for the European Union by such steps as creating pan-European political institutions. Yet significant opposition remains to policies such as the creation of a single currency. What explains continued support for the European Union as well as opposition among some to the loss of national control on some questions? Has the incremental process of integration and the development of institutions and symbols of a united Europe transformed public attitudes towards the European Union? In this book, Matthew Gabel probes the attitudes of the citizens of Europe toward the European Union. He argues that differences in attitudes toward integration are grounded in the different perceptions of how economic integration will affect individuals' economic welfare and how perceptions of economic welfare effect political attitudes. Basing his argument on Easton's idea that where affective support for institutions is low, citizens will base their support for institutions on their utilitarian appraisal of how well the institutions work for them, Gabel contends that in the European Union, citizens' appraisal of the impact of the Union on their individual welfare is crucial because their affective support is quite low. This book will be of interest to scholars studying European integration as well as scholars interested in the impact of public opinion on economic policymaking.
Nations often turn to international courts to help with overcoming collective-action problems associated with international relations. However, these courts generally cannot enforce their rulings, which begs the question: how effective are international courts? This book proposes a general theory of international courts that assumes a court has no direct power over national governments. Member states are free to ignore both the international agreement and the rulings by the court created to enforce that agreement. The theory demonstrates that such a court can, in fact, facilitate cooperation with international law, but only within important political constraints. The authors examine the theoretical argument in the context of the European Union. Using an original data set of rulings by the European Court of Justice, they find that the disposition of court rulings and government compliance with those rulings comport with the theory's predictions.