CERIUM - Centre d'études et de recherches internationales
  octobre 2013
Avec comité de lecture Article scientifique

Constructive Ambiguity : Comparing the EU’s Energy and Defence Policies

Revue Routledge (West European Politics) - Maya Jegen et Frédéric Mérand

Abstract : This article explores the paradox of constructive ambiguity. Based on a focused, longitudinal comparison of the European Union’s energy and defence policies, it analyses the role played by strategies of ambiguity in European integration. Ambiguity is found to be an attractive strategy for political entrepreneurs when member state preferences are heterogeneous and the EU’s legal basis is weak. It is likely to be effective, however, only if it is embedded in an institutional opportunity structure – that is, a formal-legal context – that entrepreneurs can fold into their strategic repertoire of ideas. While ambiguity can be strategic in circumstances where clarity would create strong opposition, it is not sufficient to entrench a European policy if it does not rest on an institutional basis. This suggests that European political entrepreneurs should be wary of relying on coalition building by ambiguity only. This

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Jegen - Mérand


  • Frédéric MérandFrédéric Mérand

    Frédéric Mérand est directeur du Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM) et du Centre d’excellence sur l’Union européenne (CEUE).
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