“Liberal Intergovernmentalism and the Crises of the European Union”, Frank Schimmelfennig (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

The Euro, Schengen and Brexit crises pose important explanatory challenges to liberal intergovernmentalism (LI). In contrast with the historical context in which LI originated, they have threatened existing integration regimes with disintegration in a highly politicized domestic environment. How relevant does LI remain under these circumstances in comparison with its neofunctionalist and postfunctionalist competitors? A comparative analysis of the three crises shows that LI offers only a partial explanation of national preference formation in the crises. As a static theory, it fails to take into account endogenous preferences that may result from path‐dependence (in the euro crisis) or politicization (in the Brexit crisis). By contrast, LI provides a convincing and indispensable analysis of intergovernmental bargaining.

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