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By Mitchell P. Smith

States of Liberalization examines the influence of the ecu Union's rigorous single-market festival coverage at the skills of Western ecu governments to exploit the general public quarter to accomplish political goals. interpreting a number of politically contentious sectors, together with executive deciding to buy of products and prone, postal prone, and public quarter monetary associations, Mitchell P. Smith explores and explains the scope and the boundaries of this change. whereas ecu monetary integration and the applying of ecu group pageant coverage have considerably infused pageant into public companies, the method has been extra modest, and extra planned, than an easy studying of Europe's effective market-making mechanisms could expect

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In other words, as Sandholtz succinctly has summarized this, “membership matters” (Sandholtz, 1996). Provided the system as a whole generates benefits that exceed the costs of the undesirable policy, the member state will not abandon the entire project (Sandholtz, 1996: 411). Recognizing the limits of national political resistance to the powerful forces of economic liberalization unleashed by economic integration, Philippe Schmitter asserts that “only those countries that elected not to join the EC/EU could confidently expect to preserve their quaint practices of informal collusion, associational concertation, and private interest governance” (Schmitter, 1997: 423–424).

Recent developments in the case of German banking reflect this broader mobilization. As argued in chapter 7, economic integration has made it possible for private banks to challenge the competitive advantages of the public sector Landesbanken in a manner that would not have been possible in Germany’s federal system. Following the introduction of the euro, other European banks have taken a growing interest in the German market. Reflecting this emergent “Europeanization” of the banking sector, the European Banking Federation in 1999 submitted a formal complaint alleging violations of EC competition rules that was designed to provide the European Commission with additional leverage to probe the guarantees extended to the Landesbanken (Financial Times, December 2, 1999: 16).

The transfer of monetary policy sovereignty to a European central bank made monetary policy constraints much more tangible— and marketable to domestic constituencies—than the vague notion of a loss of monetary sovereignty to the force of international financial markets. In short, the international economic constraints that had developed in the 1970s and persisted into the 1980s were by the 1990s nationalized, or domesticated; political actors seized on international economic pressures as an opportunity to restructure domestic political power.

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