A supranational elite theory of neofunctionalist European integration
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The national states of Europe are eliminating themselves. Not only is this development of historic import, it flies in the face of numerous theories of political science. Most notably, the school of international relations scholarship known as realism is ill-equipped to explain supranational integration since it holds self-preservation to be the primary concern of all states. Theories of neoliberal institutionalism and intergovernmentalism also purport to illuminate the process of Europe’s political unification, but fall short due to their emphasis on state-based or economic phenomena. However, by combining the insights of elite and neofunctionalist approaches, considerable explanatory and predictive power can be lent to an analysis of the European Union. This dissertation will employ the theoretical syncretism of “supranational elite neofunctionalism” to examine the process of European integration and demonstrate that it is destined to culminate in the establishment of a United States of Europe.