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Historical Institutionalism and International RelationsExplaining Institutional Development in World Politics$
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Thomas Rixen, Lora Anne Viola, and Michael Zürn

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779629

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779629.001.0001

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Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Development in the EU

Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Development in the EU

The Development of Supranational Authority over Government Subsidies (State Aid)

(p.37) 2 Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Development in the EU
Historical Institutionalism and International Relations

Tim Büthe

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines agent-centric historical institutionalism as an explanation of increasing institutional depth, focusing empirically on the institutional development of the supranational control of government subsidies (“state aid”) in the Common Market of the EU. Agent-centric historical institutionalism supplements the core elements of HI with assumptions about actor preferences and logics of action, which are consciously borrowed from other approaches to achieve greater emphasis on agency. Supplementing historical institutionalism in this way yields ex ante explanations of endogenous institutional change. This approach yields a powerful analytical account of the remarkable institutional development of the EU state aid regime from the Treaty of Rome through to today, including changes in the preferences of key actors and the timing of those changes, which previous analyses cannot explain.

Keywords:   historical institutionalism, endogenous institutional change, European integration, European Union, Common Market, competition policy, government subsidies, state aid

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