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The EU's Decision TrapsComparing Policies$
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Gerda Falkner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596225.001.0001

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The Paradigmatic Case

The Paradigmatic Case

Beyond Emergency Exits in the Common Agricultural Policy

Chapter:
(p.18) 2 The Paradigmatic Case
Source:
The EU's Decision Traps
Author(s):

Christilla Roederer-Rynning

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596225.003.0002

How was agricultural policy reform possible in a context of almost unchanged institutional rules that provided ripe conditions for inertia and gridlock? This chapter argues that the original joint-decision trap argument presented an analytical model of EU policy-making that corresponded most closely to pre-1990 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and sets out to elucidate the puzzle of reform in this area. Beyond the high politics of CAP reforms, the analysis highlights the evolution of the day-to-day policy business, which is captured by contrasting ideal-types of CAP policy-making: ‘hegemonic policy-making’ and ‘competitive policy-making’. Change took place, it is argued, through a combination of exogenous pressure, social and cognitive learning, and institutional manoeuvring, leading to what one might call ‘punctuated evolution’. In spite of recent changes, however, the CAP will continue to be one of the most controversial policy areas in the EU for reasons that are both material and ideological.

Keywords:   agriculture, CAP, consensus, externalizing costs, Luxembourg Compromise, day-to-day policy-making, voting, crisis

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