• Christian Bolt Skjoldbro
  • Mia Dimke Resting-Jeppesen
  • Matthias Walter Armster
The project aims to find the answer to the research question: How does the historical process of state formation relate to the contemporary process of EU integration?
This project takes an innovative approach in exploring the connection between the EU integration process and historical state formation. Major concepts of this study are drawn from the theories of North et al. and Charles Tilly. Both theories are chosen, since significant similarities in the assumption of both processes were discovered regarding EU integration and historical state formation. The EU is currently facing external threats of an increasingly assertive Russia, US nationalism and Brexit, which is part of the reason why Macron has recently proposed for the creation of a consolidated European military. German chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed his proposal. This development respectively shares similarities with Tilly’s notion of “war” creating the structure of a state and the doorstep condition number three of North et al.’s theory, which is concerned with the creation of a consolidated military.
The underlying framework applied throughout the analysis is realist assumptions. These connect to the theories of North et al. and Tilly as well as the overall idea behind a military structure and the initial thought of the proposal of Macron of increased defensive capabilities. The research strategy is to look of parallels between historical state formation and the integration process of the EU, and thereby examine, if these theories can provide explanatory power to the case of EU integration. Therefore, the method chosen is historical document analysis and trying to pattern match EU integration to historical state formation. A secondary outcome discovered is the aspect of theory testing to a certain degree, by applying the theories to a different context and analysing their viability.
The analysis is focused on the theoretical framework of North et al.’s three doorstep conditions, comparing them to the internal integration processes of the EU in search for similarities and differences. Based on these findings the discussion will continue with an external view of the EU’s current threats and their influence on the EU integration processes based on the notions of Tilly. A chapter criticising the findings, by way of introducing obstacles to the conclusions will be finishing the project before culminating.
The project concludes, there exists clear similarities between the historical process of state formation and the EU’s current trajectory. We prove doorstep condition one and two are fulfilled within the EU structure, as the EU established rule of law for the elites, perpetual organisations and impersonal exchanges. We believe it might require a “big bang” to move the EU through doorstep condition three.
Publication date30 May 2019
Number of pages80
ID: 304746036