Douglas Webber – Robert Schuman Fellow
European Disintegration? The Politics of the EU’s Crises
Much of the (more recent) theoretical literature on European integration conveys the impression that this process can move in only one direction – forwards. In this seminar, Webber will argue that several influential integration theories are wrong and that European political integration is a highly contingent process whose survival has been sustained by two principal variables – benign domestic political constellations in the member states and the existence of a ‘pro-integrationist’ dominant coalition or power – that are fast eroding. Thus there is – and was, already before the UK’s historic ‘Brexit’ vote in June this year – a (rapidly) growing threat of European disintegration. To support this argument, Webber has presented preliminary findings from a comparative analysis of the EU’s major current crises – the Eurozone, Schengen/refugee, Brexit and neighbourhood (Ukraine-Russian, Libyan and Syrian) crises.