Community and Autonomy: Institutions, Policies and Legitimacy in Multilevel Europe

Fritz W. Scharpf

24. September 2010

MPIfG Book


Frankfurt a.M.: Campus, 2010
391 pages
ISBN 978-3-593-39188-5 (paperback)

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Scharpf, Fritz W.
Community and Autonomy: Institutions, Policies and Legitimacy in Multilevel Europe. Schriften des Max-Planck-Instituts für Gesellschaftsforschung, Band 68. Frankfurt a.M.: Campus Verlag, 2010.


Since the mid-1980s, Fritz W. Scharpf's work has been concerned with the evolution of the multilevel European polity and its impact on the effectiveness and legitimacy of democratic government in Europe. This volume begins with the oft-cited essay arguing that Europe's problem solving capacity was constrained by a "joint decision trap." Subsequent analyses distinguish between effective policies promoting "negative integration" and the greater difficulties of "positive integration" which, in turn, correspond to the institutional conditions of "non-political" (judicial) and "political" (legislative) action at the European level. Drawing on these insights, the most recent contributions focus on the asymmetric impact of European law on the institutions and policy legacies of EU member states and on the implications of these asymmetries for the democratic legitimacy of governing at national and European levels.


Introduction: Community and Autonomy in the European Union (2010)
1  The Joint-decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European Integration (1988)
2  Community and Autonomy: Multilevel Policy-making in the European Union (1994)
3  Negative and Positive Integration in the Political Economy of European Welfare States (1996)
4  The Problem-solving Capacity of Multilevel Governance (1997)
5  Interdependence and Democratic Legitimation (2000)
6  Democratic Legitimacy under Conditions of Regulatory Competition:
    Why Europe Differs from the United States (2001)
7  Notes Toward a Theory of Multilevel Governing in Europe (2001)
8  The European Social Model: Coping with the Challenges of Diversity (2002)
9  Legitimate Diversity: The New Challenge of European Integration (2003)
10  The Joint-decision Trap Revisited (2006)


Fritz W. Scharpf

Fritz W. Scharpf is Director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

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