Dirk Leuffen, Sander Luitwieler
Domesticated Wolves? Length of Membership, State Size and Preferences at the European Convention
This chapter analyzes whether sociological or rational institutionalism can better explain governmental preferences in the European Union (EU). Drawing on literature about the two institutionalisms, we develop two theories of preference formation that we test for five prominent issues at the European Convention: the size of the Commission, the definition and extension of QMV, the extension of co-decision, and the organization of the Council presidency. In addition, we construct a variable ‘Citizen Representation’ that combines the individual issues. We present our data using cross tables before estimating linear probability models by OLS. Our quantitative analysis shows that sociological institutionalism is better able to account for preference formation at the Convention than rational institutionalism. The dominance of the tension between small and large member states, which was so often evoked during the Convention, is not supported by our findings.