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Integrating EuropeInformal Politics and Institutional Change$
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Jeffrey Stacey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584765.001.0001

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A Theory of Informal Politics

A Theory of Informal Politics

(p.32) 2 A Theory of Informal Politics
Integrating Europe

Jeffrey Stacey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Whereas Chapter 1 reviews general theories of European integration, Chapter 2 contains a review of theories of institutional change with a particular emphasis on a troika of institutionalist theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI), Historical Institutionalism (HI), and Sociological Institutionalism (SI). RCI is this book's theory of choice, essentially amounting to an assumption that institutions are fairly easy to change and an explanation that actors compete to change them when status quo institutions prevent them from achieving their preferences. The book's RCI‐based argument claims that power‐changing informal accords get created in the EU when constraints on the EU's primary political actors change, the actors being the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. It predicts that the Parliament as the weakest actor succeeds in bargaining for advantageous informal accords with its stronger counterparts when one or more of a serious of specific conditions temporarily empower it.

Keywords:   Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI), Historical Institutionalism (HI), Sociological Institutionalism (SI), theory, model, preferences, constraints, bargaining, strategic interaction, first order, second order, institutionalization, integration

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