From neo-functional peace to a logic of spillover in EU external policy

Bergmann, Julian/ Arne Niemann
External Publications (2017)

published on Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS) (online first)


In their recently published JCMS article, Gezim Visoka and John Doyle have proposed the concept of ‘neofunctional peace’ as a means to conceptualize the EU's peacemaking practices in the case of the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. This article challenges the ‘neo-functional peace’ on conceptual and empirical grounds. We critically discuss Visoka and Doyle's (2016) reading of neofunctionalism and question parts of their empirical evidence given for the existence of a ‘neo-functional peace’. Going beyond a mere critique of the article by Visoka and Doyle and arguing that the authors may not have fully exploited neofunctionalism's potential for theorizing EU external policy, we stipulate a neofunctionalist logic for explaining integration in the area of EU external policy. Focusing on three spillover dynamics to explain the initiation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue – functional discrepancies, supranational entrepreneurship and external spillover – we illustrate how neofunctionalism can be used to explain the extension of the scope of EU competences and action in the external policy realm.

About the author

Bergmann, Julian

Political Science


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