Europeanization Mechanisms and Process Tracing: A Template for Empirical Research

Kyriakos Moumoutzis, Sotirios Zartaloudis

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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While the literature on Europeanization has exhibited considerable awareness of the methodological challenge of establishing causal relations between non-binding EU stimuli and domestic change, less work has been done on how this challenge might be met. This article contributes to the literature's attempts to meet this challenge by: 1) reformulating four explanations of Europeanization based on four distinct causal mechanisms (instrumental learning, social learning, naming and shaming and peer pressure); 2) specifying their observable implications for three intervening steps between EU stimuli and change in national policy (the definition of the policy problem, the alternative courses of action considered and the manner in which they were assessed); 3) defending process tracing against critiques of its usefulness for research on Europeanization; and 4) providing practical guidelines on how process tracing can be used to test these four explanations empirically, using examples from employment policy, where non-binding EU stimuli feature most prominently
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-352
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Europeanization
  • mechanisms
  • process tracing
  • causality
  • employment policy


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