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Preference and policy formation in international bureaucracies during crises: evidence from the European Commission’s policies on debt-management

Angelou, Angelos (2019) Preference and policy formation in international bureaucracies during crises: evidence from the European Commission’s policies on debt-management. GreeSE papers (143). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper discusses the conditions under which international bureaucracies might oppose member-state preferences during financial crises. It employs the deviant case of the European Commission and its debt-management suggestions at the beginning of the recent Eurozone crisis to answer this enquiry. It asks why the European Commission stood against the debtrelief preferences of its principals during the private-sector involvement (PSI) period. By using data from grey literature sources, elite interviews and secondary accounts, it suggests that the Commission acted as an autonomous bureaucracy in the field of debt management. Its pro-integration culture, which was tied with the preservation of the Eurozone project via market-appeasing policies, drove its debt-management preferences and suggestions. This insight demonstrates that institutional culture can play a central role even during crises. It shows that when there is significant discrepancy between the international bureaucracy’s culture and the crisis-management preferences of the member-states, the former might come up with suggestions that go against state preferences. The paper’s insights run contrarily to the existing state-centric narratives about the Commission’s role in the recent crisis. They also provide nuances to the existing research on the behavior of international bureaucracies during financial crises.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Hellenic-Observatory/Publicat...
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 12:36
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 23:10
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103706

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