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Organized Civil Society and Financial Regulation in the EU - Theoretical Positioning

Sergiu-Matei Lucaci

The paper seeks to theoretically position a constructivist analysis of coalitions of non-governmental organizations in the EU that deal concomitantly with the EC and EP in developing expertise on financial regulation. It commences from the claim that the recent financial crisis can be an empowering conjuncture for sectors of civil society that wish to partake in European financial governance arrangements on the basis of their technical knowledge and collaborative efforts. In light of the EC's typically functionalist preoccupation with efficient policy-making and the EP's goal of increasing the politicization of financial regulation, one can assume that receiving advice and expertise from outside groups is desirable to both. But the divisions on regulatory aims between executive and legislative mean that NGO coalitions have to choose between the two's different needs for policy ideas and to negotiate preferences for them among coalition members. Thus, using Keck and Sikkink's (1998) description of transnational advocacy coalitions as both agents and structures, the paper looks at the strategic role of discourse in underpinning NGO self-definitions as experts or activists for the justification of choices between distinct uses of their input suggested by the above institutional rationales.

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