Failing outward: Power politics, regime complexity and failing forward under deadlock

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Abstract

Failing forward describes an endogenous cycle of EU institution-building through lowest-common denominator breakthroughs in Council. This article adds a dynamic called failing outward, in which a powerful country steers EU law and policy from outside the EU. Where strong Council deadlocks persist during crises, and a powerful state possesses a critical, excludable resource, it will make access conditional on EU rules and institutions that reflect its own interests rather than Council compromises. A non-EU institution helps it do this, entrenching conditionality. Repeated institutional fixes follow as the system fails (some) other Member States. This model is applied to Germany’s effective authority through the European Stability Mechanism over Council and Commission in determining EMU reforms, including Banking Union.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1591
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European public policy
Volume28
Issue number10
Early online date19 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • European stability mechanism
  • Financial crisis
  • European integration theory
  • international relations
  • Global governance
  • EMU
  • Banking Union
  • Instability
  • Failing forward

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