Identifying and explaining problematic forms of EU-internal differentiation

The crises that hit the EU have left the Union more internally differentiated. Were these forms of differentiation brought on by the crises, or do they have pre-crises roots? EU3D assesses which practices of internal differentiation that are most closely associated to dominance, and to what extent they are a result of the crises or refer back to structural aspects such as flaws in the design of the EU’s Monetary Union. 

The financial crisis, the migration crisis and the geopolitical crisis related to Russian revisionism and instability in the EU neighborhood have had severe consequences for the EU’s governing structure, and its relationship to member states and citizens.

EU3D examines two hypotheses in order to shed light on the relationship between differentiation and dominance. The fragmentation hypothesis presents the financial-turned-Eurozone crisis and the refugee crisis as external differentiating shocks that increased EU’s vulnerability to volatile international markets and other forms of external turbulence, and disorder. Fragmentation or breakdown of systems of order and rule are associated with dominance. 

The other hegemony hypothesis is associated with the rise of illicit forms of hierarchy, associated with unaccountable and intransparent systems of governing some of which preceded the crises, other of which were exacerbated by the crises.

Both hypotheses relate differentiation to forms of dominance. EU3D will assess the veracity of each hypothesis and whether they may be somehow combined. Market dependence coupled with a weak institutional and fiscal resources base, structurally dispose the EU to certain policy choices that have a dominance imprint.

EU3D assesses the current status of differentiation-driven dominance by conducting a number of case studies in the fields of economic governance, fiscal and monetary policy; and justice and home affairs, with emphasis on asylum seekers and border controls. EU3D will then assess whether these problematic forms of differentiation were brought about by the crises, or whether they have pre-crises roots.

Research coordinators

Ben Rosamond

Professor of Political Science



Jozef Bátora

Professor of Political Science



Published June 3, 2021 11:21 AM - Last modified Sep. 1, 2021 10:13 AM