JEPP@25 – Our Best-Of Collection

Throughout 2018, we ask JEPP authors and members from JEPP’s editorial board to share with us their stories as to how the research published in JEPP over the past 25 years influenced their own thinking and research about Europe, the EU, and public policy. This is what they are saying.

Jale Tosun, Heidelberg University, Germany

Kelemen, R. Daniel. Globalizing European Union Environmental Policy. Journal of European Public Policy 17(3), 2010, pp. 335-349.

Jale Tosun (Heidelberg University)

Together with the JEPP article by Robert Falkner on the “political economy of ‘normative power’ Europe” (volume 14, issue 4), this contribution by Daniel Kelemen offers a thought-provoking and compelling discussion of the rational foundations of the EU’s efforts to spread its environmental standards globally. By adopting this perspective, Kelemen challenges the scholarship that describes the EU a ‘normative’ power. Elegantly written and logically consistent, this piece demonstrates that two-level games also apply to complex and multi-levelled organizations such as the EU. On the one hand, the EU is constrained by demands for ambitious environmental policies by its member states and the European Parliament (internal dimension). On the other hand, the EU itself strives to constrain the policy choices of non-EU states by promoting international agreements that ‘export’ its most preferred policy positions internationally (external dimension). This strategic lens on the EU’s behavior helped in developing an exciting body of literature that combines public policy research with scholarship in international political economy.

Jan Beyers, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Jan Beyers (University of Antwerp)

During the past 25 years, the Journal of European Public Policy, in particular its founding editor Jeremy Richardson, played a key role in developing the research field on interest representation, lobbying and advocacy. In my role as editor of Interest Groups & Advocacy I am always struck by how influential work published in JEPP is for our field; almost every paper we review has at least one reference to an article or a special issue JEPP published. My own research on political representation, but also my work on Europeanization and regional politics, has been heavily inspired by JEPP. For instance, my Endnote database contains no less than 83 papers which I have regularly cited over the years. Hence, it is extremely difficult to point at one single paper that has influenced my work. I would like to highlight some older papers that were extremely inspirational. Interesting about these papers is that they connect the issue of interest representation to broader political science puzzles about institutional development, political legitimacy, responsiveness and accountability. So, there are many good reasons to re-read these three papers:

Grande, Edgar. The state and interest groups in the framework of multi-level decision-making: the case of the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy 3(3), 1996, pp. 318-338.

Coen, David. The evolution of the large firm as a political actor in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy 4(1), 1997, pp. 91-108.

Pollack, Mark A. Representing diffuse interests in EC policy-making. Journal of European Public Policy 4(4), 1997, pp. 572-590.

Christine Reh, University College London, United Kingdom

Simon Hix. The study of the European Union II: the ‘new governance’ agenda and its rival. Journal of European Public Policy 5(1), 1998, pp. 38-65.

Christine Reh (University College London)

Published two decades ago, Simon Hix’s piece postulated—possibly overstated—a “new duality” in the study of the European Union: between the new governance agenda and its, then emerging, comparative rival. The article propagates a more extensive and more systematic use of the established theories and “toolkits” of Comparative Politics to analyse and evaluate the EU’s key political and democratic challenges at the turn of the millennium; this argument is based on a methodological (calling for comparison), theoretical (calling for rationalist actor-centred analysis) and normative (calling for a focus on input legitimacy) critique of the sui generis approach. Over the next decades, both the agenda and its rival went on to become the coherent bodies of scholarship Hix called for in the piece; both produced innovative work on the EU’s government, governance and policy-choices, ranging from deliberative democracy to bargaining models; and both continue to speak to EU scholars from across the methodological and theoretical spectrum. For me, it is therefore less the start of a successful journey from comparative rival to comparative turn that makes this article one of JEPP’s seminal contributions; it is the prescient identification of the EU’s current challenges—in particular, the constraints on domestic welfare choices, the tension between non-majoritarian and competitive elements of legitimation, the need for versus risk of politicising integration—, combined with the passionate plea for a coherent research agenda to address these challenges, that offers us a powerful link between the study of the European Union in the 1990s and the study of the more troubled but also more exciting European Union of today.

Happy JEPP@25: here is to more agendas and rivals over the next quarter of a century!