By Joel T. Shelton

Shelton investigates the conditionality regime directed at 'transforming societies' inside of european candidate states. He bargains a brand new realizing of conditionality that includes the social and subjective dimensions of the 'European project', finding the pursuits and bounds of conditionality within the principles of political economic climate.

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Extra info for Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social Transformation in Southeastern Europe

Example text

In particular, EU-funded interventions in ‘human resources development’ link conditionality as Introduction: Conditionality in Crisis? 25 a technique of governance to particular efforts to reshape social and subjective features of political economy in the Republic of Macedonia carried out through the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007–2013 (OP-HRD). This program directs EU funding to particular governmental activities in order to advance the adoption of the acquis communautaire.

Why certain incentives are offered in exchange for certain performances (and not others) is rarely questioned. This limitation is compounded by the fact that understood as a formal incentive rather than a myriad of governmental practices, conditionality can have no function except to alter cost/benefit calculations. Conditionality is an incentive – nothing more, nothing less. Further, in assuming a stable environment characterized by balance and equilibrium – in assuming that political-economic life is naturally harmonious – the possibility that conditionality might be aimed at consolidating an artificial harmony on the basis of particular political-economic ideas about the state, society, and person is completely overlooked.

What this ‘game’ of rule adoption is seeking to effect is not frequently called into question. The conditionality-as-incentive approach adopts wholesale the ontology of rationalist political economy outlined above. The units that matter for analysis are rational, self-interested, and calculating states that interact in a transparent environment of exchange characterized as a ‘game’, where outcomes are determined by choices taken on the basis of cost-benefit analyses. By offering material carrots (trade agreements, institutional cooperation, financial assistance, the privileges of free movement under Schengen, a common currency) and sticks (exclusion from these preferential arrangements), conditionality adjusts the terms of the game, alters the domestic equilibrium within candidate states, and moves rational states toward compliance with EU rules.

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