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Sweden and Poland Entering the EU: Comparative Patterns of Adaptive Organization and Cognition
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a comparative study of how elites in Sweden and Poland approach and make sense of EU membership. It begins with the observation that the public debates in several EU member countries are becoming increasingly politicized around a dichotomy, i.e. enthusiasm and skepticism vis-à-vis European integration. Whereas a lot of research in this field covers the characteristics of the European integration process itself, fewer studies focus upon the cognitive complexity involved in national strategic policy choices. The aim of this thesis is to explore, compare and contrast the organizational and cognitive aspects of how Sweden and Poland entered the EU and thereby to contribute to an understanding of how national policymakers in Europe believe that national and supranational integration can work together. The theoretical point of departure is Stein Rokkan’s model of political integration, which emphasizes the importance of functional and territorial political cleavages in the development of modern European nation states. The model is used to identify political actors and structures that are transnationalizing forces in Europe and to determine in what ways they form a challenge to national governments in the process of adaptation to the EU. Representing different theoretical points of intersection in the Rokkanian model, these challenges are defined as Integration, Trade and Industry, Functional Regionalism and Territorial Regionalism. The empirical analysis builds on these theoretical categories and covers three different areas. First, the ways in which adaptation to the EU was organized by the governments of Sweden (1988-1994) and Poland (1998-2004) are scrutinized. Second, documents concerning the strategic policy deliberation of both organizations are analyzed in the light of Rokkanian integration categories. Third, the results of two sets of research interviews, one in each country, are analyzed. A major conclusion drawn in the study is that Rokkanian integration theory holds the key to an understanding of how national policymakers believe that European integration can be segmented and how supranational integration in the economic sphere can evolve separately from other areas of social and political integration. Although from very different countries and political experiences, elites in Sweden and Poland show remarkable cognitive similarities. Another contribution to a cross-national understanding of adaptation to the EU is the cognitive model, which is developed on the basis of empirical study. The model expands upon and goes beyond the simple dichotomy of Enthusiasts and Skeptics in the discussion about European integration. Two new categories are introduced and defined as Voluntarists and Pragmatists. The argument is that new cognitive categories are necessary to improve the description and analysis of how national policy makers in Europe set up long-term political goals and manage complex issues in the process of European integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Statsvetenskap , 2005. , 248 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2
Keyword [en]
Political science, integration, transnationalization, adaptation, Sweden, Poland, European Union, enlargement, Stein Rokkan, political cognition, national elites, strategic policy deliberation, qualitative research interviewing, enthusiasts, voluntarists, pragmatists, skeptics
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-539ISBN: 91-7305-893-9OAI: diva2:143759
Public defence
2005-06-09, Hörsal 213H, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2005-05-16 Created: 2005-05-16 Last updated: 2010-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Eklund, Niklas
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