The fusion approach – applications for understanding local government and European integration
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Authors: Guderjan, M. and Miles, L.
Journal: Journal of European Integration
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Abstract: The article explores the theoretical capabilities of the fusion approach as a conceptual ‘kit’ to explain the ‘bigger picture’ of European integration from a local government perspective. Fusion addresses the rationales and methods facilitating the transfer of policy-making competences to the European level. It understands European integration as a merging of public resources and policy instruments from multiple levels of government, whereby accountability and responsibilities for policy outcomes become blurred. The article argues that the fusion approach is useful to explain the systemic linkages between macro-trajectories and the corresponding change at the local level; the fusion dynamics of the local and European levels in a common policy-cycle; and the attitudes of local actors towards the EU. Although the article concludes that local government is rather modestly ‘fused’ into the EU, fusion approaches allow examining the extent to which the local level has become integrated into the European governance system.