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Title: Padraig Flynn: A Case Study in Political Policy Entrepreneurship?
Author: Pender, John Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0001 3482 7055
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis seeks to explore the ways in which individual European Union Commissioners may be capable of exercising agenda-setting and/or supranational political and policy entrepreneurship. The prevailing orthodoxy posits that in very limited circumstances the Commission and the President of the Commission may act as supranational entrepreneurs. The most significant example ofEU supranational entrepreneurialism centres on the activities and achievements of former Commission President Jacques Delors. Intergovernmentalist scholars dispute and keenly contest this leadership label. Littl~ or no attention has been paid to the supranational political and policy entrepreneurship and wider political leadership potential of individual Commissioners. Absence of systematic research on this area is the result of a general reluctance of European political science to adopt leadership approaches to the study of decision-making. Strategic relationist accounts on the nature of agency-structure discourses facilitated a methodologiCal approach incorporating elements of 'rational institutionalism' and social constructivism. The leadership of Commissioner Padraig Flynn, as a member of the Delors III and Santer administrations - his portfolio, Social Affairs and Employment, is widely held to be one of the most supranationally resistant EU policy spheres - forms a modest case study that seeks to explore the extent to which individual Commissioners may provide supranational political and policy entrepreneurship. This is achieved in the following way. A literature review of the Commission, supranational political and policy entrepreneurship and leadership· is provided. The findings of which are distilled into two typologies geared towards establishing whether, or not, individual Commissioners can exercise political and policy entrepreneurship. These are tested by posing three related research questions around the extent to which previous political experiences, personal skills, beliefs and ideological construction ------'--------------may-iiifluence policy-making ana-leadersliip~ylesinBrusseKcAcase--studyor-Flynn's--~----- contribution to the emergence of the European Employment Strategy seeks to demonstrate the nature ofh~s political leadership and policy entrepreneurship. The findings of this research suggest that leadership personas developed in national and intergovernmental contexts are relatively resistant to change and that pre-existing belief systems and ideological constructions are reflected in supranational or intergovernmental policy preferences. Individual Commissioners' may adopt strategic approaches to policymaking and may be capable of exercising political and policy entrepreneurship. Further comparative and longitudinal research is necessary. . ii Supplied by The British Library - 'The world's knowledge'
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available