The euro’s problem-ridden second decade has made crisis management and economic reform across the European Union (EU) the priority of high politics. Despite the prominence of high-level intergovernmental summits, however, many studies identify EU policymaking elites as influential or even causal factors determining the EU’s crisis response. This commentary therefore reviews the recent literature on EU economic governance which emphasises the role of supranational actors. The focus is on the methodologies and empirical strategies that scholars employ to determine the independent effect of policymaking elites on outcomes. This commentary identifies a renewed interest in actor-centred methodologies as well as a continuing emphasis on process-tracing approaches, primarily based on elite interviewing and document analysis. Finally, it discusses the potential of novel approaches relying on other sources of data such as policymakers’ biographies, their speeches, or publication and citation patterns.
Actor-centred constructivism, Administrative elites, Central banking, Economic reform, European Monetary Union
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