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Laszlo Bruszt’s Co-authored Article Selected Among Best Papers at EUSA Biennial Meeting

The paper co-authored by our Co-Director Laszlo Bruszt, Gergo Medve-Balint and Dora Piroska, entitled ’The Trap of Confederalism - Managing Developmental Gaps, Widening Divides’ was selected for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy that highlights the best papers from European Union Studies Association’s (EUSA) 2022 Biennial Meeting in Miami, Florida.

The article assesses the distributive effects of market correction instruments and policies to further common developmental goals introduced by the EU in order to mitigate the uneven distributional effects between the European Union’s core and periphery divergence resulting from Europe’s economic integration. The authors find that “these policies have not decreased developmental gaps among member states. Instead of serving longer-term common European interests, they are potential factors of widening divides in Europe.”

“Mainstream integration theories explain such outcomes with the built-in bias of EU institutions, which in turn provide opportunities for core countries to generate an economic playing field tilted towards their stronger economies,” they argue, adding that these theories “cannot explain the preferences of EU level political actors, e.g., why they create and uphold suboptimal policies, or why they repeatedly learn the wrong lessons from previous failures of managing developmental disparities in Europe.”

Drawing from research on comparative federalism, the authors argue that “the trap of confederal political representation is the key factor behind the deficiencies of market correction policies in the EU.”

EUSA is the premier scholarly and professional association focusing on the European Union, while the Journal of European Public Policy has a high impact factor, ranking in the top ten of all Political Science journals and is number one in the Public Administration category.

About the authors:

  • Laszlo Bruszt is Co-Director of the CEU Democracy Institute, and Professor of Sociology at the Department of Political Science at Central European University
  • Gergo Medve-Balint is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and Associate Professor at Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Dora Piroska is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at Central European University, and Associate Professor at Corvinus University of Budapest