The Study of the EC - the Challenge to Comparative Politics by Simon Hix – Article Example

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The paper “ The Study of the EC - the Challenge to Comparative Politics by Simon Hix” is a  spectacular example of an article on politics. The article by Simon Hix is written on the backdrop on increased political and economic power gained by the European Community over the recent past, more so after the introduction of a common currency, the Euro. He thus seeks to analyze the relationship that governs these individual countries by using comparative political approaches as opposed to the traditional international relations approaches that have been previously used to study the EC.

He supports his choice of approach by indicating that the EC has transformed to become more than an international organization comprised of sovereign countries to that of semi-sovereign countries that have an internal political structure worth study. He makes one basic assumption that the EC exists both as a political system and as an international organization depending on the approach of analysis used. Accordingly, he thus makes a very solid thesis statement is attempting to analyze the EC by comparing and contrasting comparative politics and international relations theories to explain the functions and existence of the European Community. Hix adapts a complex theoretical framework model to make his point in this study.

He explains that the EC exists as a different entity depending on the approach and perspective used. He says that it may appear as a political outfit using a comparative politics approach or it may appear as an international organization when approached from an internal relations perspective. This is very different from past research as he mentions it in that, other authors have relied only on the international relations approach and totally ignoring other perspectives.

He thus places his work in a very significant position in terms of adding to the knowledge or study of international politics. He creates a basis through which other organizations such as the African Union may be addressed. The most important point he raises is the fact that the EC is not restricted to cultural or trade relations among the members such as in multilateral and bilateral relations. He uses previous research by a number of authors to develop a basis on which he develops his argument.

He uses past research by March and Olsen, Charlesworth and Almond to argue for his case. However, he ends up using the contributions of these authors to develop an improvised categorization that utilizes both methodological and ontological aspects. Other forms of categorization he establishes are based on structure and agents which result in four categories that are applied to the two approaches; comparative politics and international relations in studying the EC. The author adopts a theoretical framework drawing his ideas from existing theories proposed by a number of authors.

Nevertheless, he sparingly introduces a conceptual framework by indicating the new developments in the EC that warrant deeper research and development of theories that explain the higher-level integration being witnessed that includes politics which the conventional international relations theories tend to ignore in the context of the EC. Hix assumes that past authors have ignored the development of the EC to more than an ‘ international organization. ’ He provides no clarification on his perception of the EC as more than just an international organization that warrants another “ rigorous investigation” on the organization.

Customarily, the author should present the EC as more than an international organization with supporting evidence, for instance, he says that the EC was initially formed of sovereign states which he assumes are not as of the time of writing the article. There has been no pronounced political activities and ideologies that have bound the members together.


Hix, S. The study of the EC: the challenge to comparative politics

Mattli, & Slaughter. Law and politics in the European Union. International Organization. 49. 1995.183-190

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