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Biermann, Felix; Guérin, Nina; Jagdhuber, Stefan; Rittberger, Berthold and Weiss, Moritz (2017): Political (non-)reform in the euro crisis and the refugee crisis: a liberal intergovernmentalist explanation. In: Journal of European Public Policy: pp. 1-21

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The objective of this contribution is to account for the different political reform trajectories resulting from two of the most recent governance challenges faced by the European Union (EU), the so-called euro and refugee crises. While the euro crisis triggered various EU-level reforms, the refugee crisis has produced calls for policy and institutional reforms, most of which have – to date – not been adopted or implemented. We employ a liberal intergovernmentalist framework and show that differences in member states’ preferences in the two crises ensue from different exposures to negative externalities. Moreover, we attribute differences in EU member states’ willingness to engage in political reforms to variation in preference constellations among member states, producing different situation structures and bargaining dynamics. While the EU’s response to the euro crisis reflects a situation structure, which highlights both redistributive conflict and a demand for joint action, the response to the refugee crisis resembles a ‘Rambo’ game situation: the states least affected by migratory pressure were satisfied with the institutional status quo, and were thus able to leave the more affected states aggrieved.

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