Volume 7, 1995
Die westeuropäische Integration als Gesellschaftsmodell im Zentrumswettbewerb
The acceleration and qualitative change of West European integration in the 1980s — as evidenced by the Single European Act — were big events of the world political economy of that decade. They not only paved the way for political union, but also altered the competition in the Triad — United States, Western Europe and Japan. This article analyzes the relaunch of the European Community and later European Union in the framework of conflictive evolutionary theory. Two elements of that theory are combined to explain the timing, the forces behind and the actors involved. The arguments are developed from the theory of the rise and decline of societal models and from the theory of competition among governments in the world market for social order and protection. The thesis of an elite argain among European transnational corporations and the EC-Commission is exposed ana briefly confronted with empirical evidence from the author's research. The article also reflects the competitive position of Western Europe in the Triad and draws conclusions for the future structure of the core: no hegemon similar to Britain's and America's position in the past will emerge since the systemic conditions have changed.