Policy Learning in the Eurozone Crisis: Modes, Power and Functionality
Dunlop, Claire A.
Radaelli, Claudio M.
© The Author(s) 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
In response to the attacks on the sovereign debt of some Eurozone countries, European Union (EU) leaders have created a set of preventive and corrective policy instruments to coordinate macro-economic policies and reforms. In this article, we deal with the European Semester, a cycle of information exchange, monitoring and surveillance. Countries that deviate from the targets are subjected to increasing monitoring and more severe ‘corrective’ interventions, in a pyramid of responsive exchanges between governments and EU institutions. This is supposed to generate coordination and convergence towards balanced economies via mechanisms of learning. But who is learning what? Can the EU learn in the ‘wrong’ mode? We contribute to the literature on theories of the policy process by showing how modes of learning can be operationalized and used in empirical analysis. We use policy learning as theoretical framework to establish empirically the prevalent mode of learning and its implications for both the power of the Commission and the normative question of whether the EU is learning in the ‘correct’ mode.
European Research Council
Analysis of Learning in Regulatory Governance
Author's accepted version of open access article.
Published online 12 December 2015: Awaiting full citation.