France's and Italy's policies on European monetary integration: A comparison of "strong" and "weak" states

Quaglia, Lucia and Maes, Ivo (2004) France's and Italy's policies on European monetary integration: A comparison of "strong" and "weak" states. Comparative European Politics, 2 (1). pp. 51-72. ISSN 1472-4790

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Abstract

This work compares France and Italy's policies on European monetary integration from the early 1970s to the late 1990s, arguing that their very different 'state structures', encompassing domestic structures and social normative order, determined their different policies in three ways. In France, the monolithic state structure produced coherent macroeconomic policies that were a crucial condition for taking part in the process of European monetary integration. In Italy, the fragmented 'archipelago' configuration of the state resulted in incoherent macroeconomic policies, which challenged the participation to European monetary agreements. Second, state structures determined how national policy preferences on EMU were formed domestically, and were fed into the EU process. Whereas France generally presented a unified position, decided by the political authorities and pursued assertively, Italy's stance was often internally divided, and undermined by domestic economic and political weaknesses. Third, state meta-structure promoted different visions for EMU, whereby the French authorities, largely favouring an intergovernmental framework, objected to central bank independence and attached great importance to the European and global power dimension of the project. The Italian authorities, instead, supported a supranational framework for EMU, and were primarily concerned about its domestic impact, first and foremost economic convergence.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Lucia Quaglia
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:09
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 10:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29813
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