Class Struggle over the EU Model of Capitalism: Neo‐Gramscian Perspectives and the Analysis of European Integration

Abstract This essay provides a critical engagement with neo?Gramscian perspectives on European integration, dealing with their core theoretical assumptions as well as empirical analyses of individual aspects of European integration. It is argued that by drawing on Gramsci's rejection of economic determinism, his thinking on the agency?structure problem, as well as his work on how to conceptualise the role of ideas, neo?Gramscian perspectives as a critical theory are able to analyse the social purpose of European integration. The conclusion identifies several shortcomings in the neo?Gramscian literature on European integration, namely (1) the neglect of national and European institutions and their structural impact on social forces as main collective actors; (2) the related oversight of possibilities for change within the existing institutional structure; (3) the neglect of studying resistance to neo?liberal restructuring in Europe; and (4) the missing analysis of trade unions and labour as potential actors within movements of resistance
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DOI 10.1080/13698230500205177
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