Transatlantic policy networks and the formation of core Europe

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This is an original study assessing the role of transatlantic policy networks in the formation of core Europe at the Schuman Plan conference. Based on extensive archival research in governmental records and private papers in twelve archives in five countries and informed by the innovative combination of the methodological tools of the network and cultural transfer concepts, the thesis sheds new light on how the process of European integration was triggered in 1950-51. The thesis reconceptualizes the negotiations on the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community in along-term historical perspective as the outcome of the co-operation of transatlantic policy networks reflecting the interaction of American and European thought and politico-legal concepts. It therefore advances the history of early European integration and post-World War II transatlantic relations.
Against the backdrop of Franco-German rapprochement and the emerging Cold War, transatlantic policy networks of a variety of academic and other experts, civil servants and state and non-state actors, assumed a vital function in determining the negotiation tactics of various stakeholders at the Schuman Plan conference. Mediating between American and European thought and politico-legal concepts, these transatlantic policy networks crucially contributed to shaping the first supranational European institutional framework and anti-trust law. The institutions that transatlantic policy networks helped to establish in 1950-51 can be regarded as the precursors of the institutions of the contemporary European Union. The anti-trust provisions, in turn, provided one important model for the competition rules of the European Economic Community, which ultimately came to playa crucial role in the European integration process and in the construction of a common market. It is demonstrated therefore that transatlantic policy networks thus helped to create important path dependencies for the process of European integration.
Date of Award16 Jun 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorWolfram Kaiser (Supervisor)

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