Within EU studies, there has been an increasing recognition that the celebrated ‘big bangs’ of integration do not materialize by themselves. History-making decisions like constitutional negotiations within intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) are not what can be termed ‘spot markets’,  where governments and EU institutions relatively effortlessly sit down and find and agree upon a deal that both maximizes utility gains while reflecting patterns of relative actor power. Recent advances point out that these types of complex negotiations are not self-organizing, which means that the ‘demand’ for cooperation amongst governments does not necessarily create its own supply of efficient agreements.  Instead, what we see is that due to complexity, these types of negotiations have substantial transaction costs that act as a barrier for agreement, either resulting in inefficient outcomes or even bargaining failure. Leadership is a necessity in these types of situations in order to overcome high transaction costs. Yet leadership has often been quite vacuous as a theoretical concept in political science. What we have often seen have been studies that focused upon the ‘great men’ (and women) and their impact, with the inevitable over/underestimation of influence depending upon how the author’s take on the person. In recent years the concept of leadership has been utilized in a more systematic fashion both within political science / international relations more generally, and more specifically within EU studies. We have seen the use of principal-agent theorizing on leadership, with scholars looking at legislative politics (Fiorina and Shepsle), executive politics and delegation (Pollack, Tallberg), along with the broader IR literature on regime creation and change and interstate negotiations (Young, Underdal, Zartman).  - See Scharpf 1997 for more on this type of negotiations.  - Moravcsik 1999a: 301.
Main Research Area:
<em>Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics</em> conference on ‘Studying the European Union: Current and Future Agendas’., 2007