Stuart A. Brown


When states engage in negotiations in the Council of the European Union, the position of actors relative to their negotiating partners has a substantial impact on outcomes. Those with extreme positions will experience difficulty in winning support, while those in the centre will find states more amenable to their perspective regardless of their actual negotiating power. The bulk of the literature on bargaining in the Council has tended to assume that this form of ‘luck’ will balance itself out across negotiations, but is this actually the case? Using the DEUII dataset I show that certain states consistently adopt ‘luckier’ positions than others and that this effect appears to benefit smaller states. The clear implication of this finding is that we require a better understanding of the preference formation stage if we are to capture fully the dynamics of EU decision-making.


Article Keywords

Bargaining, Luck, Council of the European Union, Preference formation., EU legislative process, Luck;, Preference formation

Research Articles
Article Copyright
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Material published in the JCER is done so under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, with copyright remaining with the author.
  • Articles published online in the JCER cannot be published in another journal without explicit approval of the JCER editor.
  • Authors can 'self-archive' their articles in digital form on their personal homepages, funder repositories or their institutions' archives provided that they link back to the original source on the JCER website. Authors can archive pre-print, post-print or the publisher's version of their work.
  • Authors agree that submitted articles to the JCER will be submitted to various abstracting, indexing and archiving services as selected by the JCER.
Further information about archiving and copyright are contained within the JCER Open Access Policy.