ECPR Joint Sessions
University of Nicosia, Nicosia
10 - 14 April 2018

Are Technocratic Governments better Negotiators? Bargaining Strategies and Success during the European Monetary Union Reform Negotiations

Decision Making
Political Economy
Silvana Tarlea
European University Institute
Silvana Tarlea
European University Institute
Stefanie Bailer
University of Basel

Although domestic factors are recognized to play an increasing role in international and European Union negotiations (Putnam 1988, Kaarbo 2010, Hagan 1995), we cannot provide consistent explanations whether left- and right-wing governments differ in the choice of negotiation positions and whether they behave differently in these negotiations. Recent studies on government negotiations have found only limited or no impact of the partisan orientation of a government (Bailer/Mattila/Schneider 2015) while others (Hagemann/Hoyland 2012) have confirmed this impact. Next to partisan orientation, we propose another dimension on which to compare governments: technocratic versus democratically elected ones. Our paper explores the role of technocratic governments during the European Monetary Union (EMU) negotiations. We investigate what influence technocratic governments or ministers had on the choice of negotiation positions and the use of negotiation strategies during the EMU reform negotiations. Have their negotiation positions differed regarding long- versus short-term reforms as suggested by literature (Culpper 2014)? Methodologically, we rely on a newly collected dataset, EMU Formation, which allows us to compare the positions of governments of the 28 EU member states over 47 different negotiation issues between 2011 and 2016. We assess whether the impact of the partisan or technocratic type of government depends on the salience of a negotiation topic for a country, the negotiation counterparts or whether it does not have any impact when taking the structural interests of states into account. The paper contributes to a better understanding of the domestic drivers of a country’s position during EU negotiations while shedding more light on the behavior of technocratic governments in these negotiations. It draws on original data, EMU Formation, from the EU2020 EMU Choices project.
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