Théorie réaliste de l’intégration européenne. Les conditions de la transformation d’un système international en système interne (A Realist Theory of European Integration: Conditions for the Transformation from an International System to a Domestic One).
Thesis defended at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University on 30 November 2013, 550 pp. Jury report.
This thesis proposes a theoretical framework that is able to account for the transition from an international system to a domestic regime. It relies on empirical studies of the history of European integration. The thesis model is based on two principal factors: the offense-defence balance and the degree of interdependence among actors. When offense has the advantage, incentives drive the actors to solve their interdependence problems by using violence as it is quite effective. It is only when defence has the advantage that interdependence can lead to integration. However, that latter condition is not sufficient. When interdependence is weak, actors seek to limit it to preserve their independence. It is only when defence has the advantage and interdependence is overwhelming and unavoidable that integration becomes a viable solution. This model examined three categories of actors - governments, members of parliaments and judges - to explain the transition from a traditional independence-preserving strategy to a delegation-of-powers policy in favour of supranational institutions. The origins of the European Coal and Steel Community (1951) and the failure of the European Defence Community (1954) were studied to investigate governmental integration. The first reinforcements of the European Parliament concerning budgetary (1970) and legislative matters (1986) were investigated to study parliamentary integration. Lastly, the analysis of judicial integration was explored through the evolution of German and French national courts towards the acceptance of the supremacy of Community law.
L’Union européenne au milieu du gué. Entre compromis internationaux et quête de démocratie (The European Union in midstream: between international compromises and quest for democracy), Paris, Economica, 2009, 118 pp.
Based on interviews with national officials negotiating in the Council of the European Union, this book offers an analytical framework of the European Union political regime. Specifically, it distinguishes two types of decision-making: closed negotiation on the one hand, in which actors seek compromise between opposing positions, and open competition on the other hand, in which actors seek majority support in Council and Parliament to prevail. This framework also allows us to understand why these types of decision-making create different types of relations between European institutions and citizens.
A critical review of this book has been published in the journal Politique européenne.