The purpose of this chapter is to trace the passage from earlier assumptions about the withdrawal of the state to the complex processes for reordering the public domain that characterize the EU today. To this end, it argues for a structural approach to public regulation. It rejects the argument of systematic erosion of the state function and, in its place, puts forward that of the emergence of a state that is not so much sovereign as open to negotiation, working within an international system where credible economic norms are produced within a polycentric continental entity.
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