Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social by Joel T. Shelton

By Joel T. Shelton

Shelton investigates the conditionality regime directed at 'transforming societies' within european candidate states. He bargains a brand new knowing of conditionality that includes the social and subjective dimensions of the 'European project', finding the goals and bounds of conditionality within the principles of political economic climate.

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Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social Transformation in Southeastern Europe

Shelton investigates the conditionality regime directed at 'transforming societies' inside of ecu candidate states. He bargains a brand new knowing of conditionality that includes the social and subjective dimensions of the 'European project', finding the pursuits and bounds of conditionality within the rules of political economic climate.

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These rewards are material – money and the economic promises of membership. All that is required for rule adoption is that ‘mechanisms internal to the state (domestic mechanisms) guarantee compliance’ (2006: 3). Compliance with EU rules is minimalist and based on costs: Discursive adoption is the least costly, formal institutional adoption is more costly, and ‘behavioral adoption’ (wherein rules are fully internalized) is the costliest, and thus the least likely (Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier 2005a: 17).

Sedelmeier argues that under certain conditions, states are willing to relax the requirements of rational-choice – they are willing to limit, but not abandon, the pursuit of interests that are still primarily material. Norms can therefore ‘regulate’ interests. But importantly, Sedelmeier does not reject the overall rationalist understanding of conditionality presented above: Conditionality still functions to adjust the costbenefit calculations of states, but that calculation may also be informed by a sense of responsibility derived from collective identity.

One element of political economy – the concept of property – is deployed in ways that direct governance to particular ends. Foucault is concerned with the materiality of discursive practices – how discourse is incorporated into particular techniques – or regularized patterns of activity, sets of delineated and rationalized rules, routines, and procedures that aim to accomplish some end of governance understood as an urgent need. As the objects of concern in any particular discursive tradition shift, the techniques of political-economic governance take on new objectives: Smith aims to use public education to ward off stupidity; Weber posits that education might be used to habituate the administrators whose activities would drive the bureaucratic apparatus forward.

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