Date of Award

8-9-2014

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Harvey Starr

Abstract

A common European energy policy is emerging. That poses a puzzling instance of European integration and policy‐making. Despite the origins of the European integration project rooted in the coal and nuclear sectors, integration in the energy domain largely failed until the 1990s. The last two decades, however, witnessed an increasing number of energy policy initiatives at the European Union (EU) level and culminated in the inclusion of the energy article in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty.

The dissertation aims to explain under what conditions, and how, European integration succeeds in the domain of energy policy, based on a novel fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of the twelve key legislative proposals in the EU energy policy field, and a comparative case study of the two EU renewable energy directives. In the dissertation, I develop a configurational approach that sets ground for a typological theory of European integration. The findings support the major claim of the study that there are multiple paths to successful integration outcome. I find alternative paths of integration in the EU’s energy policy domain. The dissertation findings provide evidence that integration of EU energy policy proceeds under the interplay of structure (rules), agency (member state preferences, or supranational policy entrepreneurs) and contingency (external shocks).

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