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  1. Introduction.
  2. The unique phenomenon of European integration.
  3. The realistic theory.
  4. The liberal intergovernmentalism approach.
  5. The constructivists.
  6. The developing of the neo-institutionalist theory.
  7. Conclusion.

There is an increasingly accepted agreement that the EU and the process of European integration are just too complex to be captured by a single theoretical approach. Hix holds to this point: ?We do not have a general theory of American or German politics so why should there be a general theory of the EU?? The political scientists worked from 1950s on with such theories as functionalism, neo-functionalism, realism, neo-realism, rationalism, liberalism. Other theories such as liberal inter-governmentalism, constructivism, institutionalism, and neo-institutionalism are more recent ones. First, the unique phenomenon of European integration was explained by functionalism, or as Mitrany argued, the ?functional alternative? as the alternative method to federalist proposals. The integrative dynamic of functionalism is the establishment of successive functional depoliticized organizations, which drain the power from the nation-state.

[...] The weaknesses of the neo-functionalist theorizing on European integration are as follows: 1. they concentrate on the dialectic between nation-state and supranational integration ignoring the impact of decision- making rules on the integration process They analyze primarily the spillover effect and the linear evolution from the nation-state to the ?United States of Europe? ?Business as usual? can no longer help to understand the integration process. The ?Jean Monnet method? is not successful. It was easy to implement it with few members, but not now with 25 members. [...]


[...] This could have been justified if supranationalism today would play the same insignificant role it had at the beginning of the European integration process, but the last institutional and constitutional developments made many changes in this respect. Therefore, the liberal intergovernmental approach again cannot explain well enough the EU. Values, norms, collective ideas and all other principles of social nature that come from political and social identities of the national space constitute the basic elements for constructivists[9]. Constructivism deals with the ?causal role of ideational socialization?[10]. [...]

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