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The Europeanization of the Rest of Europe: the Case of Russia

Open Panel

Abstract

This paper aims to address the problem of causality in Europeanization studies in an original way. It starts with discussing the Europeanization concept. Following C.M. Radaelli (2000) I try to clear up the difference between the Europeanization and political integration. Combining system theory (Kohler-Koch, B. 2005), neofunctional (Haas, E.B. 1958; Niemann A. 1998 &2008) and “second image reversed” (Gourevitch P. 1978) perspectives I try to develop the conceptual understanding of Europeanization beyond the EU as a process of “governance spill-over”. The “governance spill-over” concept helps us to widen our perception of political integration in Europe beyond the borders of classical dichotomy “EU membership/non-membership”. In methodological part of the paper I argue that qualitative analysis of Europeanization within and beyond the EU caused by new modes of governance is inevitably the multiple-factor analysis. Using it we can evaluate the importance of EU-factor in process of national changes only in relative terms. In the methodological part of the paper I also come to operationalization of my theoretical framework. I develop a number of working hypotheses based on the assumption that different kind of pressures (first of all economic interdependency between EU and its neighbors) can bring into effect the policy learning processes and institutional adjustment to EU norms. I also discuss the national “intervening” variables that determine the depth of national changes in European (but non-EU) states provoked by the European Union. In third part of the paper I present the results of my empirical study. Before doing it I explain my choice of Russia for testing the theoretical framework. I examine the peculiarities of that country and nevertheless its importance for testing the “governance spill-over” concept. I provide very briefly the necessary facts for understanding the current stage in EU-Russia relations. Then I focus on sector level in EU-Russia relations especially on EU-Russia sector dialogues conducted in the framework of “Common Economic Space”. I discuss the assumption that EU sector dialogues in economic sphere are most important “channels” of Europeanization in more detail. In conclusion I explain the results of my questionnaires sent to all Russian Ministries involved in economic sector dialogues with the EU. In concluding part of the paper I discuss the limits of synthetic theoretical framework that combines “neofuctional” and “sociological institutionalism” perspectives. I also focus on gaps in current research on Europeanization of European countries that haven’t joined the European Union.