The European Union: State-Building or Not?

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Andrew Stark, University of Pittsburgh, USA


    Since its embryonic inception with the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, it is undeniable that the European Union has become an increasingly integrated entity. However, little attention has been paid to the question of whether or not European integration can be implicitly characterized as an exercise in state-building. In essence, is the EU moving closer to becoming a national state (i.e. Winston Churchill’s ‘United States of Europe’) or not? To analyze this question, this paper gauges the development of a ‘European national state’ through the EU mechanism, based-on measures recognized in the literature on state-building: 1) the access to revenue and 2) Weber’s ‘monopoly of the legitimate use of force’ within a territory. Through statistical modeling, the ways in which the EU’s revenue and its monopoly on the use of force within its territory (measured by military expenditure, police forces, and terrorist attacks) have changed over time are examined, reasons for the results are postulated, and how well the findings fit traditional theories of EU integration (e.g. liberal intergovernmentalism, constructivism, neo-functionalism) is discussed. The conclusion of this paper is that the EU project can be considered an exercise in state-building. However, the emergence of the EU as a national state is likely to be a long way off.