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Negotiations in Networks in the European Union

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Multi-level governance is a term that is commonly used to characterize the nature of the European Union. In this article we argue that multi-level governance requires a research focus on negotiations and networks. Our focus is on day-to-day negotiations rather than ``history-making'' decisions, and we proceed from the assumption that negotiations vary in character across issue areas. After discussing the distinctive features of EU negotiations and applying the multidimensional network concept to the EU, we formulate a number of hypotheses as to why network patterns vary across issue areas and how network characteristics affect negotiations. Some illustrative cases are briefly presented, and some tentative observations are proffered concerning the role of networks in EU negotiations.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Lund University, Box 52, S–221 00 Lund, Sweden


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