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Palgrave Macmillan

The Field of Eurocracy

Mapping EU Actors and Professionals

ISBN 9781137294692
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series European Administrative Governance

The term 'Eurocracy' is a word that exists in all European languages. Yet beyond fantasized representations of the 'Brussels bubble', we know little about members of the European Parliament, Commissioners, European civil servants, lobbyists, members of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, European trade unionists, diplomats and journalists who work in or around the EU institutions? What are their social and professional trajectories, the type of authority they possess, and how does it matter?

Based on extensive fieldwork, this volume aims at answering these questions by building upon Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the field of bureaucracy. 45 years after Altiero Spinelli's 'The Eurocrats', this book sheds new light on the relational structures that underpin the functioning of the EU polity. Specialists of European affairs, scholars and students in politics, administration and sociology as well as citizens will find original insights to understanding EU institutions and why the European project appears to be in crisis.

Didier Georgakakis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris Panthéon Sorbonne and member of the European Centre for Sociology and Political Science. A visiting professor at the College of Europe and a Jean Monnet Chair of European political sociology, his research focuses on EU politics and administration.

Jay Rowell is CNRS Research Director in Political Sociology at the University of Strasbourg and a member of the Society, Actors and Government in Europe research centre. His recent research interests include the sociology of EU actors and EU social policy.

Introduction: Studying Eurocracy as a Bureaucratic Field; Didier Georgakakis, Jay Rowell
1. MEPs: Towards a Specialization of European Political Work?; Willy Beauvallet and Sébastien Michon
2. Tensions Within Eurocracy: A Socio-Morphological Perspective; Didier Georgakakis
3. The Permanent Representatives to the EU: Going Native in the European Field?; Filippa Chatzistavrou
4. ECB Leaders: a New European Monetary Elite?; Frédéric Lebaron
5. The World of European Information: The Institutional and Relational Genesis of the EU Public Sphere; Philippe Aldrin
6. Expert Groups in the Field of Eurocracy; Cécile Robert
7. Interest Groups and Lobbyists in the European Political Space: The Permanent Eurocrats; Guillaume Courty, Hélène Michel
8. The Personnel of the European Trade Union Confederation: Specifically European Types of Capital?; Anne-Catherine Wagner
9. European Business Leaders: A Focus on the Upper Layers of the European Field Power; François-Xavier Dudouet, Eric Grémont, Audrey Pageaut, Antoine Vion
Conclusion: The Field of Eurocracy: A New Map for New Research Horizons; Didier Georgakakis

Philippe Aldrin, Sciences Po Aix, France
Willy Beauvallet, University of Strasbourg, France
Filippa Chatzistavrou, ELIAMEP foundation, Athens, Greece
Guillaume Courty, Sciences Po Lille, France
François-Xavier Dudouet, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
Eric Grémont, Observatory of Capitalist structures (OpesC)
Frederic Lebaron, University of Picardie, France
Sébastien Michon, University of Strasbourg, France
Hélénè Michel, University of Strasbourg, France
Audrey Pageaut, University of Strasbourg, France
Cécile Robert, Sciences Po Lyon, France
Antoine Vion, University of Aix-Marseille, France
Anne-Catherine, University of Paris I Sorbonne, France


'Didier Georgakakis and Jay Rowell have put together a thought-provoking volume on 'the field of Eurocracy'. Contributors provide a wealth of information on the EU's actors while introducing a new sociological, actor-centred perspective which provides a welcome supplement (or even antidote) to more conventional studies of the European institutions.'
- Michelle Cini, Professor of European Politics, University of Bristol, UK and Co-editor, Journal of Common Market Studies
'The institutions of the European Union, despite valiant efforts to increase their transparency, remain puzzling to specialists and citizens alike, encouraging reductionisms such as that of a tentacular and all-powerful 'Brussels bureaucracy.' There are bureaucrats in Brussels, they are divided, functionally dispersed and, while very competent, much less powerful than such myths make them out to be. This excellent volume helps greatly to map 'Eurocracy' and demolish these myths. At a moment when the project for building a new Europe is under siege, such contributions are essential.'
- George Ross, ad personam Chaire Jean Monnet, Université de Montréal, Canada; Emeritus, Brandeis University, USA and Faculty Associate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, USA
'Forty-five years after A. Spinelli's 'The Eurocrats', this is the first book to systematically deploy the concepts, analytical tools and methodology of contemporary sociology to the study of the European Union institutions. An entirely original perspectives on the institutions and the people who work for them thus emerges. Specialists of European affaires, scholars and students in politics, administration and sociology as well as citizens will develop a new understanding of who rules the EU institutions and why, sociologically speaking, the European project appears to be in crisis.'
Juan Díez Medrano, Professor of Sociology, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain and Chair of the Council for European Studies
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