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The Sea Story and Globalization

Craig Parsons

Since the 1990s the scholarly debate about the 1992 SEM initiative as well as about more recent SEM drives was mostly between the Intergovernmentalists and the Institutionalists (including the more recent "governance" and "Europeanization," literatures). However, both schools are challenged by the SEA case study. Both schools are wrong to argue that delegations of power to EEC institutions are associated with a consensus on liberalization (Moravcsik arguing that consensus on liberalization explains delegations of power, the Institutionalists claiming that the Commission's power promoted liberalization). The SEA deal was a bargain between distinct liberalizing and institutional-reform agendas that remained quite separate through the deal itself. The main champions of liberalization at national or European levels were the greatest opponents of EEC institutional reform and activism. The main champions of institutional reform remained indifferent or sceptical about liberalization.

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