chapter  10
16 Pages

Decentring European governance

A research agenda
ByMark Bevir, Ryan Phillips

In this concluding chapter, we restate the case for a decentred approach to the European governance, compare this perspective with existing research, and outline a research agenda. The research agenda we propose suggests four shifts in the study of European governance: (1) the investigation of meanings, rather the study of social facts, (2) conceptualizing European governance in terms of ‘family resemblances’ based on the study of cases, rather than defining it by reference to one more essential properties, (3) preference for bottom-up, rather than top-down theories and research techniques, and (4) developing theories of European governance that eschew determinism and instead demonstrate the contingency of political activity. In arguing for these changes in the study of European governance, we show how they are inspired by the philosophical assumptions that underpin the decentred approach.