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Explaining the Leadership Crisis in the EU: Agency, Structure and the Struggle between Hegemonic Projects

Simon Bulmer, Jonathan Joseph

This paper analyses the leadership crisis in the EU from a critical perspective. First it sets out an understanding of the state of European integration as the result of competing hegemonic projects across the EU. Drawing on a particular understanding of the structure-agency relationship, the paper explores how competing hegemonic projects are derived from underlying social processes that find their principal expression in domestic politics. Secondly, it applies this approach to offer an interpretation of the 'triple crisis' in the EU (the Eurozone, refugee and Brexit crises) and including the breakdown of consensus and legitimacy in EU politics.

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