Theoretical Argument and Expectations

Adrienne Héritier, Katharina L. Meissner, Catherine Moury, Magnus G. Schoeller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter develops the book’s theoretical argument and expectations for which we draw on rational choice institutionalism as well as sociological institutionalism. First, in Chapter 2.1, we identify reasons for the EP’s empowerment based on rationalist bargaining theories of institutional change. We assume that actors such as the EP seek to maximise their institutional powers through the use of strategies. Chapter 2.1 develops a list of strategies and theorises the conditions of their success and failure. These strategies encompass delaying, issue- and arena-linkage, alliance-building, ‘moving first’ and sanctioning. Second, Chapter 2.2 develops a theoretical argument for the EP’s self-empowerment based on norm-based explanations which complements our rationalist bargaining perspective. Norm-based explanations hold that the belief in the EU as a democratic polity helps to explain institutional change to the benefit of the EP. In Chapter 2.2, we identify three mechanisms based on this approach: the logic of appropriateness, communicative action and rhetorical action. Relying on these three mechanisms, we develop a set of strategies of EP empowerment and theorise their conditions of success and failure. These strategies are providing expertise, shaming, and mobilising external actors or public opinion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Administrative Governance
EditorsThomas Christiansen, Sophie Vanhoonacker
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-16777-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-16776-9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameEuropean Administrative Governance
ISSN (Print)2524-7263
ISSN (Electronic)2524-7271


  • Empowerment
  • European parliament
  • Informal rules
  • Institutionalism
  • Rational choice
  • Sociological institutionalism
  • Strategies


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