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Governing Social InclusionEuropeanization through Policy Coordination$
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Kenneth A. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278374.001.0001

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Policy Coordination in the EU

Policy Coordination in the EU

(p.29) 2 Policy Coordination in the EU
Governing Social Inclusion

Kenneth A. Armstrong

Oxford University Press

Since 2000, EU interventions to combat poverty and social exclusion have centred around the emergence of a novel technique of EU governance: the Open Method of Coordination. It is argued that the desire to study ‘the OMC’ and to compare it to other EU governance tools has given policy coordination an overly singular identity. This chapter deconstructs this technique in order to render its identity more ambiguous and more fluid than scholars have often been prepared to admit. It is suggested that different rationales, modes, and philosophies underpin coordination processes with significant implications for the role of the OMC as a medium of either ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ benchmarking. In turn, this has implications for the tolerance of policy autonomy and the pursuit of policy convergence. Moreover, there is a central ambiguity as to whether the objective of policy coordination is governance through influence or a form of ‘dynamic accountability’.

Keywords:   Open Method of Coordination, singular identity, modes of governance, policy convergence, dynamic accountability, benchmarking

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