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Diffusion of Compliance in the ‘Race towards Brussels?’ A Spatial Approach to EU Accession Conditionality

Böhmelt, T and Freyburg, T (2015) 'Diffusion of Compliance in the ‘Race towards Brussels?’ A Spatial Approach to EU Accession Conditionality.' West European Politics, 38 (3). 601 - 626. ISSN 0140-2382

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Previous studies identified several determinants that help explain candidate states’ compliance with EU accession conditionality. However, one influence has largely been neglected so far: states’ spatial dependency. Is it possible to observe diffusion to the extent that states’ interlinkages allow their compliance with the acquis communautaire to be assessed? Are candidate states more – or perhaps even less – likely to comply with EU law when other candidates do? The paper seeks to address these questions. By building on existing research on policy diffusion, it develops a theoretical framework for studying candidates’ compliance with EU law over the accession process according to their spatial dependence. The theoretical argument focuses on ‘competitive learning’ and is tested with quantitative data. The results suggest that candidates’ levels of compliance are indeed driven by spatial interlinkages; however, free riding seems more prevalent than enhanced compliance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 16:38
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2021 19:15

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