a puzzling, little-remarked contradiction in scholarly views of the European Commission.
the one hand, the Commission
European integration, gently
persistently guiding both governments and
the other hand, the Commission
portrayed as a headless bunch of bickering fiefdoms who can hardly
anything but their own internecine turf
reason these very different views of the same institution have so seldom come into conflict
studies has a set of relatively autonomous and poorly integrated
fields that work at different levels of analysis. Those scholars holding the "heroic" view of the Commission are generally focused on the contest between national and supranational levels
the 1992 program and subsequent major steps toward European integration.
contrast, those scholars with the "bureaucratic politics"
are generally authors of case studies or legislative histories of individual
directives or decisions. However, the fact
images of the Commission are often two ships passing in the night hardly implies
no dispute. Clearly both
cannot be right; but then, how can
explain the significant support each enjoys from the empirical record?
perhaps the single most important supranational body
the world, certainly deserves better than the schizophrenic interpretation the EU studies community has given it. In this paper, I aim to make a contribution toward the unraveling of this paradox. In brief, the argument I
follows: the European Commission can be effective
pursuit of its broad integration
and even because of, its internal divisions.
wisdom that too
chefs spoil the broth
often be true, but it need
1 begin with
elaboration of the theoretical position briefly outlined above. 1 then tum to a
study from the major Commission efforts to restructure the computer industry
context of its
computer sector does not merely provide interesting, random illustrations of the hypothesis 1 have advanced. Rather, as Wayne Sandholtz and John
have stressed, the Commission's efforts
of the most crucial parts of the entire 1992 program, and so the Commission's success in "Europeanizing" these issues had significant ripple effects across the entire European political economy. I conclude with some thoughts on the
lowing question: now that the Commission has succeeded in bringing the world
its doorstep, does its bureaucratic division still serve a