Building States without Society

Building States without Society : European Union Enlargement and the Transfer of EU Social Policy to Poland and Hungary

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Focusing on the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, Building States without Society highlights the real limits of cross-national rule transfer even when power is uneven between rule-makers and rule-takers. Tracing the role of labor and other non-state actors in transferring rules, Beate Sissenich shows the persistent relevance of national politics, specifically state capacity and interest organizations. Social network analysis demonstrates that even in a highly integrated Europe, state borders continue to structure more

Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 149.9 x 223.5 x 25.4mm | 385.56g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739112236
  • 9780739112236

About Beate Sissenich

Beate Sissenich is assistant professor of political science at Indiana more

Review quote

Building States Without Society provides a timely analysis highlighting the pitfalls of the EU's top-down policy transfer to the new member states and the liabilities this might create for compliance with EU policies. By systematically studying transnational networks, twinning interest mediation, Beate Sissenich significantly adds to our understanding of the micro- and meso-politics of international rule transfer. -- Frank Schimmelfennig No international organization is better able to induce its member states to transpose its rules than the European Union. And no countries in Central and Eastern Europe are more promising candidates for such rule transfer than Poland and Hungary. However, rule transfer has fallen short in both countries, despite a mighty effort by the EU to impose conditionality and encourage organized interests to network cross-nationally. Why? Building States without Society argues that the answer lies in the domestic arena. Transnational efforts will meet at best superficial success if the target state lacks the capacity to implement, and if organized interests fail to take root. Bringing to bear two unique data sets-on networks among 32 social policy organizations, and on 170 interviews with national, union, and business officials-Beate Sissenich presents a rich, carefully conducted analysis of the limits of EU leverage in Central and Eastern Europe. -- Liesbet Hooghe, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Beate Sissenich's fine new book on social policy in Poland and Hungary fills an important gap in the booming literature on external assistance in postcommunist transitions. Her impressive empirical data demonstrates that an exclusive focus on EU and state elite preferences obscures the importance of state capacity and the crucial role of organized societal interests. One important implication is that too many new member states may end up practicing what the EU preaches, but only at the most superficial level. -- Wade Jacoby, Brigham Young University One of the most valuable and innovative books yet on EU enlargement, with important policy implications. Shows how the exclusion of east Europe's non-elites, which Sissenich documents in great detail, was not only bad for democracy but bad for the EU, leading to low policy harmonization, continued east-west inequalities, and making creation of a European identity ever more difficult. -- David Ost, Hobart and William Smith Colleges What really the rich empirical evidence [Sissenich] adduces...This book makes a considerable contribution to enlargement scholarship. Slavic Review, Winter 2008 Beate Sissenich's new book could not appear at a more appropriate moment. The bloom is off the roses in many of the EU's new Central and East European members. Triumphal rhetoric about post Cold War transition from grim outposts of a failing communist order to new market democracies joining the EU is less pertinent. Realities like excessive nationalism, populism, corruption, lapses in the rule of law, ineffective governance, and economic difficulties are showing. Many of these problems can be connected to harsh changes in social policies over recent years and some to the shortfall between aspirations and fact in the EU accession process. It is these things that Sissenich illuminates in a solid piece of social science. We need to know more, beyond Eurospeak, about what it has meant for real societies to join the EU. Sissenich's work is a pioneering effort. -- George Ross, Brandeis Universityshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Transferring Rules across Borders Chapter 2 Cross-National Rule Transfer: State Capacity and Organized Interests Chapter 3 Conditions for Rule Transfer at the Source Chapter 4 Rule Adoption in Poland and Hungary Chapter 5 Mapping the Network of EU Social Policy and Enlargement Chapter 6 State-Building and the Politics of Social Influence Chapter 7 The Weakness of Interest Mediation in Central and Eastern Europe Chapter 8 Conclusion Chapter 9 Appendix 1: List of Interviews Chapter 10 Appendix 2: Constructing the Social Network Databaseshow more