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1The Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) of the European University Institute (EUI) occupies a special place in the historiography of European construction. Regularly described as the “epicenter” of the approaches that have today come to dominate the process of European integration,  [1] it is also known as a key center in the social structuration of the sub-discipline of European studies, and, more broadly, the social structuration of political science in Europe as a whole.  [2]

2This symbolic centrality reflects the social importance of the institute and is demonstrated by the career paths of former members of the SPS department. In 1996, of the 296 graduates and fellows who studied in the department during its first twenty years (1976-1996), 50 percent occupied teaching or research posts.  [3] This representation in the academic world is particularly structuring given its international nature (SPS graduates are present in almost all European countries),  [4] associated with transnational movements (35 percent now work outside their countries of origin), and linked to positions of power. Additionally, numerous teachers and former members of the SPS department are involved in key European political science institutions: the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR),  [5] and the European Political Science Association[6] and its associated journals, Political Science Research and Methods[7] and European Union Politics.

3The symbolic prestige of the SPS department is also reinforced by the recognized centrality of certain members and alumni within the discourses of European studies. The work of Stefano Bartolini, Adrienne Héritier, Philippe Schmitter, and Simon Hix can all be cited as examples of the structuring extent of networks on European knowledge linked to the department. These academic endeavors are particularly significant as they are connected to the world of social and political practice. SPS graduates have also made their mark outside the academic world: in 1996, 7 percent of alumni were working in or in connection with European institutions, and some major names in European politics have taken part in activities linked to the SPS department.  [8] On an institutional level, the EUI has also attempted to establish links with the field of politics, notably through its founding of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in 1992.  [9] The EUI and its SPS department have thus established themselves as a key center in the production and dissemination of knowledge on European integration.

4The social, discursive, and symbolic importance of the EUI’s SPS department in the production of knowledge on European construction is good reason to take a closer look at its activities. It also prompts two questions: First, how can one explain the central role of this department? And second, what is the structure of the knowledge that has been institutionalized in the SPS department, and how does it permeate Europe?

5There is a growing body of literature on the ways in which the structuration of knowledge of Europe has been developed: Julie Bailleux examines the emergence of European Community Law among European entrepreneurs in the 1950s who attempted to “mobilize legal science” in order to bring about European integration,  [10] while Oriane Calligaro describes the production of a “militant approach to European history” arising from the establishment of partnerships between the European Commission and transnational groups of historians.  [11] Meanwhile, Philippe Aldrin analyzes the creation in 1973 of the tools to measure European public opinion (Eurobarometers) by bringing together “community agents, scholars, and professional pollsters.”  [12] These researchers focus on very different periods and subjects but have one thesis in common: they attribute the content of knowledge on Europe to the existence of political leadership, and, simultaneously, the “enlistment of academics.”  [13] The overarching thesis is that of academics working in the service of a political project, or pursuing this project together by working ad hoc together with community officials.

6At first sight, this analytical framework appears to be applicable to the SPS department. When the EUI was founded in 1976, its aim was to legitimize European construction by means of academic knowledge. Founded by the member states of the European Community at that time (Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), its mission was to promote research and doctoral study in order to contribute to the “development of a European consciousness, essential for [...] the political integration of Europe.”  [14] It was directed by a committed European—Max Kohnstamm  [15]—and its four departments were structured around disciplines that demonstrated “particular interest for the work of European unification”: law, history and civilization, economics, and political and social sciences (SPS).  [16]

7These European ambitions were implemented in the academic activity of the EUI from the outset, which became a center for the production of Community law and work on history to legitimize the European project.  [17] But this emphasis on European construction was largely absent from the SPS department. Paradoxically, its focus at the time was not on “Europe” as a subject in itself, but rather on comparative studies of European political systems. By concentrating on the behavior of political actors on the national stage, the studies largely ignored the dynamics of integration.

8Thus, in its beginnings, the academic activity of the SPS department appears not to have submitted to political injunctions. In this respect, an analysis in terms of the “enlistment” of its academics seems unworkable. Instead, this article aims to apply the concept of “Archive” to this case. This concept, borrowed from Michel Foucault, designates the set of discourses that, without necessarily being dominant, are nevertheless available for a given epoch and may be mobilized to serve as support for later discourses.  [18] Applied to the SPS department, this notion has three advantages.

9First, it restores the numerous academic discourses prevailing at a specific time. Considering a multiplicity of discourses and the configurations of associated actors makes it possible to understand why the outcome of a political order may not be as intended. I will show how, far from automatically resulting in the knowledge desired, political intervention may, on the contrary, come into conflict with disciplinary forces that lead it to fail. In this case, the orders issued by Community institutions did not initially “take” in the SPS department.

10Second, the concept of Archive enables one to show what the dominant knowledge of any given period may owe to historical developments that may not initially seem connected. Thus I will show how the initial “failure” of political intervention in the SPS department did not prevent the institution and the knowledge it produced from having structuring effects on European studies in the long term, though this outcome was not foreseeable at the outset. The “European Archive”—i.e., the corpus of knowledge about Europe—has been constructed very much over the long term.

11Finally, the concept makes it possible to relocate a given corpus of knowledge within a very wide area of discourse. Thus I will also show how what is considered as “European” knowledge is in reality the product of complex transnational configurations, which brought together not only European academics and Community actors but also, on a much wider scale, academics, politicians, and philanthropists playing a role within transatlantic dynamics.  [19] The development of American political science and the dynamics of the intellectual Cold War thus played a key role in the structuration of knowledge about Europe.

12In order to demonstrate the above, this article focuses on the origins and development—particularly the first years (1976-1986)  [20]—of the EUI’s SPS department.  [21] The arguments in this paper are largely based on an analysis of the archives of the following institutions: the EUI itself (conserved in the Historical Archives of the European Union [HAEU] in Florence), the International Political Science Association (Concordia University, Montreal), the Ford Foundation (Rockefeller Archive Center, New York), and UNESCO (Paris), as well as the personal archives of Hans Daalder (University of Leiden). These written sources are complemented by interviews with some of the first members of the department: Hans Daalder, Stefano Bartolini, Philippe Schmitter, and Jean Blondel. I also draw on other works on the creation of the EUI  [22] and on the history of social sciences,  [23] as well as on the retrospective comments of some of the actors involved.  [24] These materials have been subjected to both qualitative (piecing together the intellectual debates) and quantitative analysis (analyses of academic networks).

13As a new home for the production of transnational knowledge, the EUI (and the SPS department in particular), whose structures had yet to be constructed, quickly became a battleground for paradigmatic struggles, with the issue of European integration paradoxically only a minor issue (Part I). The debates brought about the confrontation of social networks of unequal power (Part II) and ended in the imposition of specific conceptions of political science that were not aligned with the political agenda assigned to the EUI by Community actors. The victory of certain paradigms has had a long-lasting influence on how European construction was seen (Part III).

I—Paradigmatic struggles over the invention of a “European political science”

14The EUI was officially founded in 1972, but much still needed to be done before it could open its doors. As a transnational institute, it was not part of the Italian university system and so it had to invent its own operational, recruitment, teaching, and assessment procedures. Housed in a fifteenth-century monastery, it needed to adapt the buildings and create its own library. It was also the job of the SPS department to define the nature of the “European social sciences” that it had been tasked to develop and the exact nature of what “European” research meant in relation to national or international research frameworks. These practical and symbolic issues soon gave rise to intense frictions among the first professors in the department. This first part provides an overview of these power relations. It also bears witness to the considerable intellectual uncertainty of the period, in which political injunctions were just one element in play.

15It is unfortunately difficult to retrace the thinking underlying the selection of the original professors. The task was entrusted partly to a preparatory committee that was composed, in addition to the president of the institute, of representatives from the university administrations of the founding states (chancellors, vice-chancellors, ministry personnel) and partly to the founding states themselves.  [25] Selection was based on national considerations (all member states had to be represented) as well as disciplinary concerns (each department had to have the same number of professors), and gave priority to multilingual candidates (where possible with a command of Italian, English, and French) and to teachers with international reputations who had both academic expertise and broad general knowledge.  [26]

16The profiles of the first three professors of the department (See Table 1 below) reflect the heterogeneity of what was considered to be “science” or “political studies” in a period in which the borderlines and the content of the discipline varied significantly from one country to another.

Tableau 1. Professors and doctoral assistants in the SPS departement (1975-1985)

ProfessorGiovanni SartoriHans DaalderGiuseppe Di PalmaVincent WrightIan Budge
Jacques GeorgelRudolf WildenmannBernd Marin
Maurice CranstonPhilippe Schmitter
Peter FloraJean-Gustave Padioleau
Athanasios Moulakis
Doctoral assistantLars JohansenStephano Bartolini
Peter Mair
tableau im1

Tableau 1. Professors and doctoral assistants in the SPS departement (1975-1985)

17The career and the writings of the Frenchman Jacques Georgel (who was forty-two when he joined the EUI) demonstrate his proximity to the legal profession. Agrégé in law (1962) and teacher at the University of Rennes (1962-1976),  [27] he had produced work on both French and Spanish institutions and political regimes.  [28] His work was deliberately “committed” (for example, his critiques of Franco’s regime or the Constitution of the French Fourth Republic),  [29] and employed intellectual references relating to the fields of law (including Georges Berlia, Roger Bonnard, René Capitant, Georges Burdeau, Boris Mirkine-Guetzévitch, Marcel Prélot, Jean Rivero, the Revue de droit public, and the Revue internationale de droit comparé), political science (Jacques Chapsal, Maurice Duverger, François Goguel, Henri Mendras, Jean Meyriat, Marcel Merle, Jean-Luc Parodi, André Siegfried, Georges Vedel, and the Revue française de science politique), history (Eric Hobsbawm), geography (Jean Gottmann), philosophy (Alain, Montesquieu), and literature, (Victor Hugo, François-René de Chateaubriand,  [30] Théophile Gautier, and so on). He used these references in case studies (e.g., on the French Senate and the French Constitution, and on the Franco regime) based on the analysis of legal texts, official sources (Journal officiel des débats parlementaires, Revue politique et parlementaire), and the press (including Le Monde, Paris Match, and L’Humanité). His analysis claimed to be “totally objective” and “completely realistic” and advocated the use of descriptive statistics (“quantified tables of contents,” “content analysis,” “maps,” and “organigrams”).  [31] Both his approach and his career were typical of a field of French political studies traditionally structured around public law and electoral geography.  [32]

18The career and writing of the Dutchman Hans Daalder  [33] (who joined the EUI aged forty-seven) contrast with those of Georgel. His works, mainly published in the form of papers,  [34] dealt chiefly with political parties and elites in Western Europe and frequently employed a comparative approach. The papers were highly critical of the work of Maurice Duverger  [35] and were based on a body of references coming from an approach to political science that could be called behaviorialist—that is to say it focused on the empirical study of the behavior of political actors—structural-functionalist,  [36] and rationalist, and drew on the work of American authors (including Gabriel Almond, Robert Axelrod, Robert Dahl, Anthony Downs, William Gamson, Michael Leiserson, Seymour Martin Lipset, and William Riker, who were published in the American Political Science Review), as well as European authors (including Jean Blondel, Ian Budge, Stein Rokkan, Giovanni Sartori, and Abram de Swaan, who were published in a limited number of journals: Acta Politica, British Journal of Political Science, European Journal of Political Research, and Scandinavian Political Studies).  [37] His approach involved the application of a range of concepts and procedures: methodological individualism and the postulate of the rationality of actors; statistical modeling and mathematical formalization; the creation of large, empirical, internationally comparable data banks; and the application of axiological neutrality to political sciences in emulation of the natural sciences.

19The Englishman Maurice Cranston (aged fifty-five upon joining the EUI) belonged to a very different tradition. Professor of political science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (1959-1979), he was a philosopher and historian of political ideas. Author of numerous scholarly biographies  [38] and discussions of concepts, he engaged with the classical philosophical ideas  [39] in the writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Martin Heidegger, Baruch Spinoza, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, and so on, and claimed to espouse liberalism and the ideas of Karl Popper and to oppose determinism. Following British political studies’ tradition of focusing on the history of ideas  [40] and being skeptical over the positivist aspirations of behaviorialism,  [41] Cranston was a vigorous critic of American researchers who employed this approach (Robert Dahl, above all), and their “aggressive” aspiration of “eliminating political philosophy” in the name of factual objectivity and axiological neutrality. He believed that behaviorialism’s claim to this neutrality was a sham and concealed what was in reality a position in favor of democracy.  [42]

20The diversity of these EUI professors’ profiles was reflected in the diversity of the knowledge produced and disseminated by the department during its early years. Seminars were conducted on the following four subjects: institutions (Georgel’s “Political Institutions in the Nine Community Countries”); political actors (Daalder’s “Recent Changes in European Party Systems”); decision-making and political action (Daalder’s “The Overload of Government,” in collaboration with guest lecturers Richard Rose and Dennis Kavanagh);  [43]? and the history of ideas (Cranston’s “The Concept of the State”). Table 2 shows that theses supervised by Georgel focused on Community and member state institutions, while those supervised by Daalder looked at parties, mobilizations, and political groups, and those by Cranston dealt with conceptual issues.

Table 2. SPS department dissertation subjects (1976-1979)

CranstonBentham and the Oppressed
CranstonJohannes Althusius. A Contribution from the History of Ideas to a Theory of Federalism to Centralist Democracy (written in French)
CranstonPhilosophy of Mythical and Rationalist History in Italian Futurism. A Political Interpretation Model of Artistic Movements (written in French)
CranstonPolitical Authority and Its Legitimation
CranstonA Systematic Comparison of the Methodological and Social Philosophical Positions of Critical Rationalism and Critical Theory
DaalderPolitical Participation and Attitudes of Local Leaders
DaalderThe Multiplicity of Institutional Positions Held by Political Elites. The Search for Power in Consociational Democracies
DaalderFactionalism—with Specific Reference to at Least Two Western European Socialist Parties
DaalderThe Relationship between Socialists and Communists in Italy and France
DaalderThe Syndicates in Spain—Changes and Realignments in Power, Structure and Activity in the Declining Years of the Franco Regime
Daalder and RoseLiving with the Overload (of Government). The Case of Italy
DaalderThe Politicisation of Political Cleavages. A Spanish Case
DaalderParties and Voluntary Associations in France and Germany
DaalderAnalysis of the Values of the Italian Sample in Multinational Research. “Dissatisfactions, Protests, and Mutations in Advanced Industrial Societies” (1975). Verification of Inglehart’s Model and his Critique (written in French)
DaalderThe Politics of a European Periphery. Parties and Party Loyalty in Ireland
DaalderEquilibrium Conditions in Multi-Party Competition
Georgel and DaalderA Comparative Analysis of the Ecological Movement in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands (written in French)
GeorgelThe Significance of Direct Elections for the Political System of the European Communities
GeorgelAn Institutional Comparison between the European Political Community Project and the EEC (written in French)
GeorgelParticipation and Ethnic Groups. The Political Participation of Minority Interests in the States of the European Communities (written in French)
GeorgelA Comparative Study of the Socialist Group and the Liberal Group in the European Parliament (written in French)
GeorgelFeminist and Feminine Movements in Italy and their Relationships with Left-Wing Parties. The Politics of New Women’s Movements (written in French)
GeorgelThe Crisis in the Parliamentary System. The Nation State in the Europe of the Nine. An Analysis of the Problems Posed by the Creation of the European Union and a Comparative Study of the Different Projects Presented on this Issue (written in French)
GeorgelOn the Constituent Elements of Durkheim's Political Theory (written in French)
GeorgelThe Objective and Structure of Conflict (written in French)
GeorgelGustave Le Bon’s Crowd Psychology (written in French)
GeorgelThree Catholic Dictatorships in the 1930s: Portugal, Austria, and Ireland. A Comparative Study (written in French)
GeorgelAgricultural Problems Caused by the Enlargement of the European Community in the South (written in French)
GeorgelNational Parliaments’ Control over Community Activity—The Case of Italy (written in French)
GeorgelCommunism in Umbria. A Case Study in Regional Communism
GeorgelInternational Treaties and Their Application in Spain under the New Constitution of 1978

Table 2. SPS department dissertation subjects (1976-1979)

21The proponents of these three different approaches did not see them as compartmentalized subdisciplines that could exist alongside each other. As noted in Cranston’s remarks detailed above, they saw them as rival conceptions in a struggle to define the discipline and control the SPS department. The exceptional context brought about by the creation of a transnational institute forced these rivalries and their underlying commonalities and differences into the open. A lively debate on the department’s academic orientation took place in 1979, which involved the first professors in the department, some of their doctoral students (Stefano Bartolini, Peter Mair), and their designated successors (Rudolf Wildenmann, Giuseppe Di Palma, Athanasios Moulakis). Two camps emerged. The disagreements between them, summarized in Table 3, can be divided into three categories.

221. First, there were disagreements over the subjects to be studied and the approaches and methods to be employed. The different actors in the department advocated, respectively, study of institutions (Georgel); ideas and concepts (Cranston, Moulakis); and political actors, such as parties, elites, and pressure groups (Daalder, Wildenmann, Bartolini, Mair, Di Palma). These subjects were linked to the intellectual approaches they considered to be legitimate: legal (Georgel); historical (Georgel, Cranston); philosophical (Cranston, Georgel, Moulakis); and empirical, comparative, and quantifiable (Daalder, Wildenmann, Bartolini, Mair, Di Palma).

232. The debates brought into play more than just the definition of legitimate intellectual approaches. There were in fact two opposing types of scientific habitus, two ways of conceiving the practice of science. For one group (Georgel, Cranston, Moulakis), academic work was predominantly individual: it involved the autonomy of the researcher  [44] and the carrying out of major case studies that were published as monographs and did not rule out the researcher’s right to express a view (explicit criticism of institutions, clear position on major political ideologies, and so on).  [45] For others (Daalder et al.), research was intended to be collective, involving the compilation of international databases  [46] and the production of comparative studies, and with a focus on variables rather than case studies. This conception was associated with the positivist claim of political science to follow the idealized model of natural sciences. It was also in line with denial of the political implications of behavioralism,  [47] whose axiological neutrality was asserted via a rhetoric claiming it to be scientific, rational, and in search of effectiveness.  [48] So what was at stake in these discussions was the very definition of what was meant by “scientific research.”  [49]

243. The conception of Europe was also part of the wider debate. For some, particularly Georgel, the duty of the department was to develop a political science of European institutions. For others, it was to promote a political science whose European dimension was provided by the transnational and collaborative nature of academic activity and the comparative approach underlying its methods. In short, the debate was between, a Europeanization of the subject of study (political science of the subject of “Europe”) and a Europeanization of the activity and the methods (collaborative research between Europeans, using comparative methods):


First, it might be thought that the institute’s commitment in [the area of the study and development of the cultural and scientific heritage of Europe] can be met through the byproduct of its teaching and research in other, more well-defined areas. This would be true insofar as the institute’s activities take place in a non-national and European context. Second, one might on the other hand consider that this area involves a field of teaching and research in its own right.[50]

26It is worth dwelling on the possible reasons for uncertainties over the role of the concept of “Europe” in the structuration of the department. These doubts were, to an extent, linked to political actors’ uncertainties over the EUI’s mission. While the statutes and the discourse that accompanied the creation of the institute highlighted its mission of supporting Community integration, the founder states did not all agree on this being the only task of the institute and on the kinds of restrictions that should be applied.  [51] Caught between the ambition of making the institute a tool for political legitimation and the desire to ensure that it would acquire global academic reach, they hesitated between firm control over its research and an emphasis on academic freedom.  [52] These doubts resulted in unequal political investment in the different departments: while the European Commission intervened directly in the history and civilization department, even concluding a formal contract with it, the SPS and the economics department seemed to be more free to define their own priorities internally. Thus it became a question of the way in which those in the department wished to interpret the “European” mission assigned to them, within a relatively unrestricted framework.

Table 3. Summary of approaches

SupportersMaurice Cranston, Jacques Georgel, Athanasios MoulakisStefano Bartolini, Hans Daalder, Giuseppe Di Palma, Peter Mair, Rudolf Wildenmann
Approaches and methodsLegal, historical, and philosophical approaches; case studiesComparison, quantification, approach using variables
SubjectsIdeas, institutionsIndividual and collective actors (parties, pressure groups, etc.), political behaviors
Academic workIndividualCollective
Link to societyNormativity and link to practitionersClaim to autonomy
EuropePolitical science of the subject of “Europe”Political science that is European in its practice and methods

Table 3. Summary of approaches

27These intellectual differences led the two groups to argue in favor of two different ways of structuring the department. Georgel and Cranston were critical of an “American-style political science” based on “computers.” In their view, computing should give way to an approach based on the history of ideas and a “European-style political science,” which would allow them to carry out the “European” mission of the institute:


The researchers are scattered over five seminars that correspond to four different directions: European-style political science, American-style political science, political ideas, and sociology. [...] With twenty researchers compelled to follow the seminars, one can’t work in four directions in a productive manner; and even less so when there are so few who know how to use a computer. It makes sense then to concentrate our efforts.
In which fields?
a) In areas where our relative lack of skill is less damaging. This would enable the institute to develop its influence and to forge a reputation that it currently does not possess.
b) In areas where we are better able to respond to the hopes expressed in the Convention, i.e., to deepen understanding of European culture. [...]
One doesn’t need to be a great expert to realize that it is easier, less costly, and more in line with the aims set out in the convention to orient research toward the history of ideas, still known as political philosophy. This, in my opinion, is a priority.
The second orientation of the department should be selected from three options: international relations (neglected up till now), European political science, or sociology.  [53]

29By contrast, Daalder et al. advocated that the department should be organized around “modern, comparative political science,” in a configuration that integrated the most comparative and quantitative branches of sociology at the time (macrosociology, sociology of stratification  [54]), an analysis of policies and public decision-making inherited from functionalism, and an analytical political philosophy compatible with positivism and the mathematical formalism underlying their approach. Europe was not included here as a key issue.


Clearly we must avoid a sort of “catchall” department, with the consequent risks of disciplinary heterogeneity and dispersion, and the obstacles which such a situation imposes on the development of collective research. At its present stage, therefore, the department must concentrate on and limit itself to those areas which represent the core of the political and social science disciplines and which, at the same time, are central to an institute such as the EUI: [...]
1. Comparative politics, to involve research and training to [sic] modern comparative political science;
2. Public policy/public administration, to involve research and training in policy analysis, decision making, political administration, etc.;
3. Macrosociology, oriented towards research and training on the structures and processes of modern industrial society;
4. Sociology of stratification, oriented towards research and training in the patterns of individual and collective behaviour;
5. Political theory, oriented towards research and training in the field of analytic political theory.[55]

31The creation of the EUI and the SPS department thus gave rise to a forum in which discursive tensions running through the European Archive at that time were clearly articulated. The next part demonstrates how some of these discourses gained a hold.

II—The unequal social force of ideas

32While each camp sought to convince others through the power of argument, they did not compete on equal terms on a sociological level. Structured around different networks, each camp had different social capital and employed different repertories of action. In this part, I piece together this situation by studying the different lecturers invited to the department by the different professors.

33The majority of Georgel’s guest lecturers were French (and, to a lesser extent, southern European) jurists specializing in public law, some of whom had taken up a political career (see Table 4). They tended to lecture on national political institutions or European integration.

Table 4. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Jacques Georgel (1976-1979)

Claude-Albert ColliardJurist, consultant to the Paris Faculty of Law and former president of the jury for agrégation in law in 1974
Jean-Pierre CotJurist, Université Paris I
George DupuisJurist, Université Paris I
Aris FakinosGreek writer and journalist based in Paris after the 1967 coup of the colonels
Pierre Mendès FranceLawyer by profession, former French prime minister
Gaston MonnervilleMember of the Constitutional Council, former president of the French Senate
F. Martinez-CurrascoSpanish, profession unknown
Jacques-René RabierSpecial French advisor to the European Commission. Former director general of the European Communities Press and Information Service
Jean RiveroJurist, Université Paris II
Jacques RobertJurist, Université Paris II
Francisco Salgado ZenhaLawyer by profession, former Portuguese minister of Justice (1974-1975), founding member of Portugal’s Socialist Party and its parliamentary group (1974-1982)

Table 4. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Jacques Georgel (1976-1979)

34By contrast, the lecturers invited by Cranston came from a range of different countries (the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany) and all of them occupied university positions: in political science, philosophy, history of ideas, and literature (see Table 5). Beyond participating in Cranston’s annual seminar, these teachers took part in symposia on “Political Ideology” (1978) and “Language and Politics” (1979).

35Daalder’s guest lecturers also hailed from a diverse range of mainly northern and western European countries (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland), as well as the United States. Coming chiefly from political science backgrounds (see Table 6), they participated in the seminar and symposium organized by Daalder on party systems, or in his “The Overload of Government” project.

Table 5. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Maurice Cranston (1977-1979)

Renford BambroughProfessor of philosophy, St John’s College, University of Cambridge
Isaiah Berlin*Professor of social and political theory, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Norberto BobbioProfessor of political philosophy, University of Turin
Sergio CottaProfessor of philosophy of law, Sapienza University, Rome
Hans DaudtProfessor of political science, University of Amsterdam
Jacques DerridaAssistant professor of history of philosophy, École normale supérieure, Paris
Sandor LakoffProfessor of political philosophy, University of California San Diego
William LetwinProfessor of humanities, LSE, London
Robert NisbetProfessor of sociology, Columbia University
Felix OppenheimProfessor of political science, Amherst College
Chaïm PerelmanProfessor of philosophy, Free University of Brussels
Claude PolinProfessor of social and political philosophy, Sorbonne, Paris
Raymond PolinProfessor of political philosophy, Sorbonne, Paris
Robert SpaemannProfessor of philosophy, University of Munich
Jean StarobinskiProfessor of French literature, University of Geneva
George SteinerLiterary critic, essayist, and professor of comparative literature, University of Geneva and University of Cambridge
Martyn ThompsonTeacher of philosophy, Tübingen University

Table 5. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Maurice Cranston (1977-1979)

* Individuals whose names are in bold were part of a network that had the International Institute of Political Philosophy (IIPP) at its center. See further on in this section for more details.

Table 6. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Hans Daalder (1976-1979)

Roberto D’AlimonteTeacher of political science, University of Florence
Robert DahlProfessor of political science, Yale University
Wilfried DewachterProfessor of political science, University of Louvain
Paolo FarnetiTeacher of political science, University of Turin
Samuel FinerProfessor of government, All Souls College, University of Oxford
Peter FloraProfessor of sociology, University of Cologne
Dennis KavanaghLecturer in political science, Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Henry KerrProfessor of political science, University of Geneva
Hans-Dieter KlingemannResearcher, ZUMA, Mannheim
Juan LinzProfessor of sociology and political science, Yale University
Warren MillerProfessor of political science, University of Michigan
Jean-Luc ParodiResearcher, Cevipof, Paris
Mogens PedersenTeacher of political science, Odense University
Pertti PesonenProfessor of political science, University of Helsinki
Nelson PolsbyProfessor of political science, University of California, Berkeley
Stein RokkanProfessor of political science, Michelsen Institute, Bergen
Richard RoseProfessor of political science, University of Strathclyde
Giovanni SartoriProfessor of political science, Stanford University
Fritz ScharpfDirector of the International Institute of Management, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB)
Philippe SchmitterProfessor of political science, University of Chicago
Dusan SidjanskiProfessor of political science, University of Geneva
Gunnar SjöblomProfessor of political science, Lund University
Sidney TarrowProfessor of government and sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca
Henry ValenProfessor of political science, University of Oslo
Klaus von BeymeProfessor of political science, Heidelberg University
Rudolf WildenmannProfessor of political science, ZUMA, Mannheim

Table 6. Lecturers invited to the EUI by Hans Daalder (1976-1979)

36The “sociologies” of these guest lecturers reveal differences in their resources, strategies, and repertories of action. Georgel’s guests were linked to two main areas: Community institutions (embodied particularly by Jacques-René Rabier, former director of the European Communities Press and Information Service and architect of the Eurobarometer program) and French public law. As such, they represented the interest of the EUI in investing in the law department. Although, as has been shown, Georgel positioned himself in the internal struggles of the SPS department, it was with his colleagues in the law department that he collaborated most closely. This investment was not only in line with his work on public law, but also with his desire to see the EUI develop social sciences focusing on European integration. The focus on producing Community law in the law department revealed its close alignment with the agenda of European institutions.  [56] This is why, for example, Georgel worked with the law department on the organization of a 1978 symposium on European elections entitled “Uniform Procedures for Direct Elections to the European Parliament.

37By contrast, Cranston and Daalder’s guests came essentially from preexisting transnational networks. Many of Cranston’s guests (in bold in Table 5) were part of a network formed and institutionalized within the International Institute of Political Philosophy (IIPP),  [57] headed by Cranston from 1976  [58] and connected to the networks of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).  [59] By contrast, Daalder’s guests belonged to a transnational movement devoted to developing and disseminating functionalist and behavioralist approaches and quantitative methods in political science. They also occupied key positions within these networks and included, notably, Stein Rokkan, Pertti Pesonen, Giovanni Sartori, Samuel Finer, Warren Miller, Robert Dahl, and Juan Linz (see Table 7 as well as Figure 1, which maps out the structure of this network).

38The centrality of these individuals illustrates the particularly heavy investment in the SPS department by Daalder and his networks. While Cranston’s guests participated in seminars and symposia, those invited by Daalder were part of a much broader endeavor. They rooted the department in a network of professional and political organizations that sponsored the transnational dissemination of functionalist and behavioralist approaches, within the context of the intellectual Cold War.  [60] This connection was formalized when the SPS department, prompted by Daalder, joined the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) (see Box 1 and Figure 2). While these networks provided social and symbolic capital, they also, and most importantly, provided access to financial and intellectual resources. The Volkswagen and Ford Foundations (via the ECPR in the case of the latter) financed the organization of an annual summer school in comparative politics at the EUI from 1979 onwards, in which several members of these networks provided tuition. They also sponsored transnational research projects initiated by Daalder, notably on European party systems (1977), and guest lectureships. Lastly, through the United States’ Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), they provided access to databases and staff able to teach quantitative methods and data processing at the EUI.  [61]

39By providing different kinds of resources, these transnational networks enabled Daalder to flood the department with initiatives and, as a result, gain more weight in internal struggles. The ability to mobilize particularly central members of these networks also had effects of its own. When, in 1979, Daalder sought to encourage the recruitment of Rudolf Wildenmann as a professor, he did so—successfully—by obtaining letters of recommendation from Stein Rokkan, Karl Deutsch, and Warren Miller, whose symbolic weight brought the advantages he sought.  [62] And when he sought other potential recruits to the department, he did so by requesting the written opinions of members of his networks.  [63] By suggesting numerous names of academics that were both intellectually compatible and also available, the networks demonstrated their social capital and their ability to mobilize their allies.

Figure 1. Network map of functionalist and behavioralist networks (1976)

tableau im7

Figure 1. Network map of functionalist and behavioralist networks (1976)

Note on creation and interpretation:
This network, which contains 240 nodes and 2,753 links, has been constructed from lists of participants at symposia and congresses of behavioralist “committees” and research projects (CPB, CCP, CPS, SED), members of executive committees of transnational professional associations (IPSA, ISA, ECPR), and funding bodies (ISSC) from 1960 to 1976. The network map, created using the igraph R package, is based on the Kamada-Kawai algorithm.
The size of the nodes is proportional to their spectral centrality. The names indicated are those of the most key individuals, as well as those of several SPS department guests. The thickness of the links reflects the frequency of contact between the individuals concerned.
The map shows the centrality of Stein Rokkan and several other guest lecturers (e.g., Warren Miller, Pertti Pesonen, Giovanni Sartori, and Robert Dahl) in the network. The next generation (Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Mogens Pedersen) is more peripheral. Central positions are also occupied by other actors, such as Jerzy Wiatr, who held many positions in transnational professional organizations, but who did not visit the EUI.

40The different strategies that the three professors had when it came to the SPS department, the parallel activities in other EUI departments, and the transnational mobilization to promote behavioralism explain why the positions advocated by Daalder, Mair, Bartolini, and co. finally prevailed in the internal debates. This dynamic was not unique to the SPS department: at the same time and under the influence of similar transnational dissemination processes, other European departments (including those of the universities of Essex, Mannheim, Leiden, and so on) also adopted these approaches. The following part describes the consequences of this process on a local level (that of the SPS department) and on a broader level (for European studies as a whole).

Table 7. Centrality in the functionalist and behavioralist transnational networks of Daalder and his guest lecturers (240 nodes, 2,753 links)[64]

Spectral centralityBetweenness centralityCloseness centrality
Stein Rokkan1.00135.512.71
Hans Daalder0.6253.282.110
Pertti Pesonen0.5671.3252.118
Giovanni Sartori0.5382.8102.116
Warren Miller0.4990.5452.049
Juan Linz0.49115.842.114
Samuel Finer0.47130.8342.055
Robert Dahl0.35230.4561.982
Henry Valen0.34240.6421.965
Richard Rose0.22559.622.23
Rudolf Wildenmann0.19604.452.19
Klaus von Beyme0.091010.4501.969
Dusan Sidjanski0.081030.11481.972
Mogens Pedersen0.061220.1931.6185
Fritz Scharpf0.051430.11951.985
Hans-Dieter Klingemann0.021940.4491.7157
Peter Flora0.021990.11631.7170

Table 7. Centrality in the functionalist and behavioralist transnational networks of Daalder and his guest lecturers (240 nodes, 2,753 links)[64]

Box 1. A transnational outreach to disseminate paradigms

By making the EUI a member of the ECPR and through his choice of guest lecturers, Daalder connected the SPS department to a well-established network promoting functionalist and behavioralist approaches.  [65] The network (60 links, 22 nodes) was built up in various steps, depicted in figures 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d.
2a (1959) – At the end of the 1940s, UNESCO (and from 1952, its offshoot, the International Social Science Council, ISSC), financed the creation and the development of international social science associations, notably in political science (IPSA) and in sociology (ISA).  [66] Alongside these, American philanthropic foundations and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) invested greatly in the development of behavioralism in the United States and financed the creation of two committees (the Committee on Political Behavior, CPB, and the Committee on Comparative Politics, CCP) and several research centers focusing on these issues (in particular, the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor).  [67] These international and American developments were initially in parallel.
2b (1965) – The Committee on Political Sociology (CPS), founded by Rokkan under the aegis of the IPSA and the ISA, and the Smaller European Democracies (SED) project initiated by Rokkan, Daalder, Dahl, and Val Lorwin, were the first steps taken to disseminate these approaches in Europe.  [68] Moreover, Rokkan, a key actor in the dissemination process, sat on the executive committees of the ISA, IPSA, CPB, and CCP. At the same time, American philanthropic foundations (in particular the Ford Foundation) provided funding for visits by European researchers to American universities offering behavioralist programs.  [69]
2c (1970) – European researchers now well acquainted with functionalism and behavioralism (Daalder, Wildenmann, Blondel, Rokkan, Rose, etc.) mobilized to promote these approaches in Europe. They launched the Essex summer school, dedicated to training in quantitative methods in social sciences (1968), and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), a professional organization aimed at disseminating these approaches in Europe (1970). They benefited in particular from the support of the Ford Foundation and UNESCO (support that was facilitated by the membership of Rokkan and other advocates of the ISSC’s approaches).  [70]
2d (1979) – Daalder used his position at the recently opened EUI (1976) to promote these approaches. He arranged for the EUI to join the ECPR and launched a transnational research project on European party systems (1977) and a new summer school in Florence dedicated to comparative politics (1979). The Volkswagen Foundation, which already funded the SED project, financed these different initiatives, as did the ECPR itself. These activities also benefited from support from the Ford Foundation, via the ICPSR and the ECPR.

Figure 2. Network of organizations and networks that promoted functionalism and behavioralism in political science (1950-1980)

tableau im9

Figure 2. Network of organizations and networks that promoted functionalism and behavioralism in political science (1950-1980)

Figure 2a. American structuration (1959)

tableau im10

Figure 2a. American structuration (1959)

Figure 2b. Transatlantic dissemination (1965)

tableau im11

Figure 2b. Transatlantic dissemination (1965)

Figure 2c. First stage of European structuration (1970)

tableau im12

Figure 2c. First stage of European structuration (1970)

Figure 2d. Second stage of European structuration (1979)

tableau im13

Figure 2d. Second stage of European structuration (1979)

Note on creation:
The diagrams demonstrate the flows of funds and the relationships between the different organizations. The flows of funds are grants and material and logistical support recorded in the archives consulted or in the secondary sources cited in Box 1. Relationships were established on the basis of the names of members of the organizations concerned. Members of the different institutions were taken to be members of their governing bodies and those who participated regularly. A member of the CPB present at just one IPSA congress is thus not enough to create a link between the CCP and the IPSA. On the other hand, Rokkan’s simultaneous membership of the CPB and the executive committee of the ISA does constitute a link.
This network is meant to be complete: all the transnational groups involved in the dissemination process are represented. In order to simplify the diagrams, however, I have excluded organizations that, while being connected to transnational groups, played a principally national role in the process. The American Political Science Association (APSA), clearly controlled by functionalist and behavioralist networks between 1965 and 1980, is one example. Its chairpersons were, successively: Gabriel Almond, member of the CCP (1965-1966); Robert Dahl, member of the CPS and the CPB and co-founder of the SED project (1966-1967); Karl Deutsch, member of the CPS and the executive committee of the IPSA (1969-1970); Heinz Eulau, member of the CPS (1971-1972); Austin Ranney, member of the CPS (1974-1975); then later, Warren Miller, key actor in the development of the Michigan center (1979-1980). The same can be said for the British Journal of Political Science (established in 1971), which contributed to the creation of specifically British networks in this endeavor.

III—The reproduction of a paradigmatic group and its effects on the European Archive

41Analyzing the successive recruitment of personnel shows that it was the configuration proposed by Daalder, Mair, and Bartolini that established a lasting presence in the department. Between 1979 and 1986 (see Table 1), the fields represented at the SPS department included a behavioralist approach to political science focusing on parties, pressure groups, elites, and political behavior (Wildenmann, Budge, Schmitter, Jean-Gustave Padioleau,  [71] and Blondel, who succeeded Budge in 1985); a “macrosociology” structured around the analysis of public policy and intellectually close to Rokkannian approaches (Flora, Bernd Marin); and an analytical political philosophy connected to behavioralism (Brian Barry, who succeeded Moulakis in 1986). The recruitment of these different professors is evidence of the networks displayed above: several of them were either chairpersons or on the board of the ECPR (Wildenmann, Budge, Blondel); Barry was professor at the University of Essex, where the consortium was headquartered, and co-founder of the British Journal of Political Science; while Marin and Flora worked respectively with Renate Mayntz  [72] and Rokkan, who were themselves at the center of these networks and recommended their appointments.  [73] Behavioralism, statistical methods, and mathematical formalism thus played an important and lasting role in the department. But even more important than the paradigm itself,  [74] two dominant conceptions of political science prevailed.

42The first was a collective and transnational approach to research that involved compiling large databases and carrying out collaborative projects. Following the summer schools and in line with projects led by Daalder (in particular the RCEPS project), Daalder’s successors, Wildenmann (RCEPS project) and Budge (Party Manifesto Project), supported the department’s work with large transnational projects on political parties. Flora used the EUI as a platform to develop collective projects bringing together external researchers and his doctoral students, for example, in the Historical Indicators of West European Democracies (HIWED) project.  [75] Vincent Wright, initially more skeptical about this kind of approach, also describes his time in the SPS department as a period in which he became convinced of the value of collective transnational research. He co-directed a project on center-periphery relations in Western Europe together with Yves Mény (professor in the law department, 1979-1983).  [76]

43The second was a comparative variable-based approach. Flora’s studies are typical examples of this approach. Based on the Rokkanian conceptual map model, they aggregated data on major variables relating to the characteristics of European states. The variables collected were political (elections, governments, public income and expenditure, military personnel, and so on), and demographic and economic (population growth, family structure, distribution of income, urbanization, economic growth, trade unions, and so on), and the aim of collecting the data was to establish a model capable of explaining the structure of welfare states. This echoed the projects on parties implemented by Daalder, Wildenmann, and Budge. Wright also increasingly adopted this comparative approach: originally a specialist on France, he co-founded and co-edited a comparative journal along these lines (West European Politics, 1978) and began to carry out Franco-British comparisons in his own work.  [77]

44The mid-1980s thus saw the SPS department dominated by both a clearly identifiable paradigm and a particular approach to academic practice. Alongside other universities (Essex, Cologne, Konstanz, Mannheim, Michigan, and so on), the department became a center from which this type of social science was reproduced, although there was diversification and even divergence from the approach. Many professors who followed on after the mid-1980s represented different ways in which the paradigm developed from behavioralism. International comparison of parties and political elites continued to be undertaken (Bartolini, Blondel, Mair), but work that was increasingly informed by rational choice, formal game theory, and sophisticated regression analysis also began to be produced. This included the modeling of electoral behavior (Maurizio Cotta, Mark Franklin, Hanspeter Kriesi, Alexander Trechsel), the quantitative sociology of stratification and social mobilities (Fabrizio Bernardi, Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Richard Breen, Jaap Dronkers, Martin Kohli, and Yossi Shavit) and the neo-institutionalism of rational choice (Adrienne Héritier, Mark Pollack, and Sven Steinmo). Despite internal diversity and representation of other paradigms within the department,  [78] overall the department contributed to the dissemination of theoretical premises (methodological individualism, rational choice), methodological approaches (international comparison, analysis of variables, formal theories, and advanced statistical analyses, in particular regression), and a particular habitus of research (collective and transnational). It contributed to the production of “internationalized scientific dispositions” and a “style of research [...] shared by the majority of the scientific productions disseminated on an international scale.”  [79]

45The dominance of behavioralism in the SPS department had a significant effect on the structuration of the European Archive. These effects may seem paradoxical inasmuch as the studies carried out by the department at the end of the 1970s were far from placing European integration at the heart of their concerns. It is nevertheless important to show that later developments meant that the researchers did subsequently focus on this subject. One particular turning point was at the beginning of the 1990s. Following the Maastricht treaty and the increasing concentration of competences in Brussels, several proponents of behavioralism and rational choice began to invest their efforts in the study of the European Union.


The substantial transfer of authority and political activity from the “Single Market 1992” initiative, monetary union, and their concomitant institutional upgrades attracted a new group of social scientists to EU studies: Comparativists who had specialized in domestic European politics found the EU intruding into their national bailiwicks and also found that the EU itself had developed robust institutions that could be compared to national cases.[80]

47Breaking with the “great theories” forged by international relations that dominated European studies at the time (functionalism, realism, and so on),  [81] these authors applied the theoretical frameworks of “their” political science to the study of EU institutions.  [82] This turning point was particularly evident in the work of the first generations of SPS teachers. Schmitter, for example, extrapolated his study on interest groups in order to advance the idea of the emergence of a “Euro-pluralism” with scattered islands of “Euro-corporatism” on a Community level.  [83] And Bartolini applied a Rokkanian analysis to the study of European institutions, which concluded that the institutions were structurally weak in comparison to national frameworks.  [84]

48But it is predominantly in more recent generations—in work undertaken by doctoral students at the SPS in the 1990s and 2000s—that this investment has been most evident. These researchers, heavily influenced by rational choice theories and trained in sophisticated regression analysis techniques, postulated the formation of a specifically European-level “polity.” Their ambition has been to study Europe with the tools hitherto used at a national level and, in terms of content and method, convert “European politics” into a field similar to “American politics,” which dominates American political sciences. Simon Hix, for example, dedicated his doctoral dissertation to European party federations while David Coen focused on representatives of European interests, and Yannis Karagiannis on European public policies.  [85] Far from being isolated cases, these set a precedent and led to the creation of the journal European Union Politics (2000), which is dominated by “mainstream rationalist,” formal, and statistical approaches to studies on the European Union.  [86] Game theory (George Tsebelis), principal-agent approaches (Pollack), rational choice theories (Matthew Gabel), and issue salience evaluation (Heike Klüver) are all tools used to gain insights into European integration and its limits. Networks have been structured around this publishing and intellectual undertaking, which, significantly, are transatlantic and bring together several centers of historical importance in the dissemination of behavioralism (Essex, Leiden, Mannheim, Michigan, and so on).

49These developments have not stopped with a mere analysis of European integration; several of those employing these approaches are openly critical of the European Union in public discussion.  [87] Just as these writers analyze the European Union with tools they have developed for the study of national states, they evaluate European institutions using the criteria developed by behavioralist political theory to judge the “quality” of national political systems.  [88] Their criticism focuses on a “democratic deficit” in the EU,  [89] which they put down to the imperfect nature of European political competition. The EU is shown as suffering from a lack of pluralism (weakness of political parties and the European Parliament; an absence of structured opposition to the European Commission; inadequate representation of lobby interests), a lack of clarity (weak salience of specifically European electoral issues; insufficient accountability of representatives whose actions are difficult to trace) and insufficient public acceptance (low level of political trust in European institutions). For these authors, remedying this deficit involves undertaking institutional reforms that include, for example, the holding of European referenda, reform of the functioning of Parliament, access of interest groups to the Commission, transparency of deliberations and decision-making, and so on.

50The political significance of these positions still needs to be studied but is outside the scope of this article. The very existence of the positions, however, demonstrates just how far this branch of political science has moved in its study of European integration. A paradigmatic group initially unconcerned with this subject is now responsible for the output of a substantial number of works and opinions on the European Union. Without making any claims as to the centrality of this knowledge, it does, albeit rather late, contribute to the structuring of the European Archive.


51The aim of this article has been to describe the centrality of the EUI’s SPS department within the historiography of European construction, and to understand the nature of the knowledge on Europe that gained a hold within the department. Using a theoretical framework based around the notion of Archive and materials from archive sources has made it possible to find answers to these two questions and to provide a number of insights.

52The analysis shows firstly that the structuration of the SPS department must be relocated within a wider framework, that of the transnational dissemination of a behavioralist, comparative, and quantitative approach to political science. The SPS department is seen to be one of the locations involved in a wider transnational movement that brought into play multiple actors, strategies, resources, and repertoires of contention, within the framework of a changing international political science. The “scientific nature” of social sciences represented today is thus seen as a historically located invention; the valorization of databases, mathematization, comparative approaches, and collective, project-based research can be seen to be recent inventions, products of the transnational movement of academic networks supported by major funding bodies. Additionally, the centrality of the department studied can be understood in connection with a wider reorganization of disciplinary norms.

53This article contributes to debates on the dynamics underlying the constitution of a body of knowledge on European integration and Community institutions. In contrast with a perspective that focuses on political influence over the academic world, disciplinary dynamics seem to have had more influence than political injunctions. This article confirms the ability of the disciplinary bodies, whose institutional and intellectual structures were being established at the time, to “refract” political injunctions.  [90] Moreover, the apparent failure of the SPS department to implement social studies on European integration at the end of the 1970s conceals the role that the department played in the constitution of a European Archive. The social sciences institutionalized in the department provided cognitive tools that were later updated in order to produce an analysis of Community institutions and even a critique of their functioning. The study concurs with the conclusions of previous studies in showing that the development of a European Archive must be seen not only as the consequence of Community integration itself but also a product of internal university dynamics and disciplinary power relations.  [91]

54In doing so, this study eliminates the borders of Europe. In line with a realist and constructivist body of literature on international relations that highlights the weight of the United States in the structuration of European cooperative areas,  [92] it shows how the European Archive was shaped by the dissemination of intellectual approaches developed in the United States in cooperation with the activities of philanthropic foundations within the framework of the Cold War. The European Archive must thus be relocated within wider discourses that were reinforced by unequally endowed social forces.


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    Craig Parsons, “Book Review: Héritier, A. (2007). Explaining Institutional Change in Europe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press,” Comparative Political Studies 43, no. 6 (2010): 792.
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    Hans Daalder, ed., Comparative European Politics: The Story of a Profession (London: Pinter, 1997).
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    Author’s calculation based on analysis of graduate yearbook: “EUI Alumni Directorate 1996,” HAEU, dossier EUI 290.
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    Mainly in the UK (26 percent), Italy (22 percent), and Germany (16 percent).
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    Martin Bull, SPS graduate, has been director of the ECPR since 2006.
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    The EPSA executive committee includes Simon Hix, Orit Kedar, and Gail McElroy, all graduates of SPS.
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    Simon Hug and Massimo Morelli, SPS alumni, are associate editors of the journal.
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    José Manuel Barroso, then aged thirty-four, was visiting professor at the EUI and took part in the summer school on comparative politics organized by Hans Daalder at the EUI in 1980. See Hans Daalder, “Report on the Second Summer School on Comparative European Politics,” Daalder Archives, dossier 7.3/48.06, July 1980.
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    The RSCAS describes its vocation as “being involved in both basic and policy research, collaborating with other centres of excellence in Europe, providing opportunities for young scholars and promoting dialogue with the world of practice.” See
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    Julie Bailleux, Penser l’Europe par le droit. L’invention du droit communautaire en France (Paris: Dalloz, 2014).
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    Philippe Aldrin, “L’invention de l’opinion publique européenne. Genèse intellectuelle et politique de l’Eurobaromètre (1950-1973),” Politix 89 (2010): 79-101. Translator’s note: Our translation. Unless otherwise stated, all translations of cited foreign language material in this article are our own.
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    Gaetano Martino, Italian minister of foreign affairs, quoted in Jean-Marie Palayret, “Des négociations à la création de l’Institut universitaire européen de Florence,” publication following seminar on “L’enjeu de la culture dans le champ multilateral,” université Lumière Lyon II, May 10-12, 2001, 9. See also the EUI founding agreement:
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    Max Kohnstamm, a close collaborator of Jean Monnet, was secretary of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (1952-1956) and the vice president of the Comité d’action pour les États-Unis d’Europe (1956-1975).
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    French minister of foreign affairs, quoted in Jean-Marie Palayret, A University for Europe. Prehistory of the European University in Florence (1948-1976) (Florence: Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Department of Information and Publishing, 1996), 116.
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    Morgane Le Boulay, “Au croisement des mondes politique et scientifique. L’écriture et l’enseignement de l’histoire de l’Europe en France et en Allemagne (1976-2007)” (PhD diss., supervised by Dominique Damamme and Hartmut Kaelble, Université Paris-Dauphine/Humboldt Universität, 2014); Calligaro, Negotiating Europe; Bailleux, Penser l’Europe par le droit.
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    Michel Foucault, “Le Mallarmé de J.P. Richard,” Annales 19, no. 5 (1964): 996-1004. Also see the article by Francisco Roa Bastos and Antoine Vauchez introducing this themed issue.
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    It is thus part of the research agenda on the transnational history of social sciences. See Robert Adcock, Mark Bevir, and Shannon C. Stimson, eds. Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges since 1880 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007); Gisèle Sapiro, ed., L’espace intellectuel en Europe. De la formation des États-nations à la mondialisation (Paris: La Découverte, 2009); Wiebke Keim et al., eds., Global Knowledge Production in the Social Sciences. Made in Circulation (Dorchester: Ashgate, 2014); and Johan Heilbron, Gustavo Sorá, and Thibaud Boncourt, The Social and Human Sciences in Global Power Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
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    Narrowing down the period of study makes sense in this case, given that this decade was decisive for the debates described here. It was also dictated by the availability of some of the sources, such as the archives of the EUI, which can only be consulted after thirty years.
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    This case study is also linked to a comparative study: see Thibaud Boncourt and Oriane Calligaro, “Legitimising Europe with the Social Sciences and Humanities? The European University Institute and the European Integration Project (1976-1986),” Serendipities 2, no. 1 (2017): 60-89.
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    Palayret, A University for Europe; Calligaro, Negotiating Europe.
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    In particular, Adcock, Bevir, and Stimson, eds. Modern Political Science; Emily Hauptmann, “The Ford Foundation and the Rise of Behavioralism in Political Science,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 48, no. 2 (2012): 154-73; Emily Hauptmann, “’Propagandists for the Behavioral Sciences’: The Overlooked Partnership between the Carnegie Corporation and SSRC in the Mid-Twentieth Century,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 52, no. 2 (2016): 167-87; Francisco Roa Bastos, “Des partis paradigmatiques. “LaPalombara & Weiner,” “Lipset & Rokkan” et la science normale du politique dans les années 1960,” Revue française de science politique 67, no. 1 (2017) 97-119; and Antonin Cohen, “The Atlantic Structuration of European Studies: The Ford Foundation and the European Community Institute for University Studies in the Generation of an ‘Object,’” Revue française de science politique 67, no. 1 (2017): 69-96.
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    Compiled in Daalder, Comparative European Politics.
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    While the archives of the EUI provide an insight into the reasons for the selection of the members of the preparatory committee, they provide no information on the dynamics of the states that prompted them to suggest the various candidates. It may be that national archives may shed light on this issue, but I have as yet been unable to identify such information.
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    Luigi Firpo, “Lettre à Hywel Duck,” HAEU, dossier EUI-4, July 16, 1974; anonymous manuscript, HAEU, dossier EUI-4.
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    Jacques Georgel, Critiques et réforme des Constitutions de la République. De la Quatrième à la Sixième? (Paris: CELSE, 1959); Jacques Georgel, Jacques Georgel, Le Sénat dans l’adversité (1962-1966) (Paris: Cujas, 1968); Jacques Georgel, Le franquisme. Histoire et bilan (1939-1969) (Paris: Seuil, 1970).
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    Georgel, Le franquisme, 6.
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    Jacques Moreau, Georges Dupuis, and Jacques Georgel, Éléments de sociologie politique (Paris: Cujas, 1966), 31-32.
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    Pierre Favre, Naissances de la science politique en France, 1870-1914 (Paris: Fayard, 1989).
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    Giovanni Sartori, initially selected for this position, soon left to replace Gabriel Almond at Stanford University. It was on Sartori’s recommendation that Hans Daalder, a member of the same networks, was selected to replace him. See Hans Daalder, “A Smaller European’s Opening Frontiers,” in Daalder, Comparative European Politics, 238.
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    Curriculum vitae of Hans Daalder, October 13, 1980, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.4/53.06.
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    Hans Daalder, “Parties, Elites, and Political Developments in Western Europe,” in Political Parties and Political Development, ed. Joseph La Palombara and Myron Weiner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), 43-77; Hans Daalder, “On Building Consociational Nations: The Cases of the Netherlands and Switzerland,” International Social Science Journal 23, no. 3 (1971): 355-70; Hans Daalder, “Cabinets and Party Systems in Ten Smaller European Democracies,” Acta Politica 6, no. 3 (1971): 282-303.
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    For a discussion of the application of these paradigmatic labels by the cited authors, see Roa Bastos, “Des partis paradigmatiques.”
  • [37]
    For an example, see the syllabus of Hans Daalder’s course delivered at the summer school on “Comparative European Party Systems” entitled “Coalition Theories and the Empirical Study of Cabinet Coalitions in Western Europe,” July 6, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.3/46.05.
  • [38]
    Maurice Cranston, John Locke. A Biography (London: Longmans Green, 1957); Maurice Cranston, John Stuart Mill (London: Longmans Green, 1958).
  • [39]
    Maurice Cranston, Freedom. A New Analysis (London: Longmans Green, 1954); Maurice Cranston, What Are Human Rights? (London: Bodley Head, 1973).
  • [40]
    Jack Hayward, “Political Science in Britain,” European Journal of Political Research 20, nos. 3-4 (1991): 301-22; Jack Hayward, Brian Barry, and Archie Brown, eds., The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • [41]
    For an example, see Bernard Crick, The American Science of Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959).
  • [42]
    Maurice Cranston, The Mask of Politics, and Other Essays (London: Allen Lane, 1973).
  • [43]
    This subject, strictly speaking more functionalist than behavioralist, is connected to the social and intellectual proximity of these two currents of thinking, particularly in American academia. See Robert Adcock, “Interpreting Behavioralism,” in Modern Political Science, ed. Adcock, Bevir, and Stimson, 180-208; and Roa Bastos, “Des partis paradigmatiques.”
  • [44]
    Significantly, Georgel lamented EUI students’ lack of autonomy in their choice of research subject and in how they conducted their research (Jacques Georgel, “Séminaire ‘Institutions politiques’ – Bilan de l’année 1976-1977,” June 24, 1977, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/27.02).
  • [45]
    For examples, see Raymond Polin, “De l’Institut international de philosophie politique. Avant-propos,” Revue européenne des sciences sociales 18, no. 52 (1980): 7-13.
  • [46]
    On the importance of databases for behavioralist political science, see Emily Hauptmann, “The Origins of Data Sharing in Mid-20th Century Social Science” (presentation, conference of the International Political Science Association [IPSA], Pozna?, July 2016). The American developments described by Hauptmann continued in Europe through the activities of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), whose members created “data centers” at various locations such as Bergen, Cologne, and Strathclyde (letter from Warren Miller to Hans Daalder, March 13, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/25.18). For developments on this issue, see Thibaud Boncourt, “L’internationalisation de la science politique. Une comparaison franco-britannique (1945-2010)” (PhD diss., supervised by Pierre Sadran, Sciences Po Bordeaux, 2011).
  • [47]
    On the euphemisation and denial of the political, see in particular Pierre Bourdieu, The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger, trans. Peter Collier (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991).
  • [48]
    While the political implications of behavioralism were accepted by certain representatives of the field, who claimed that political and social sciences were able to predict social events and played a role in democratic engineering, they were shunned by others who played up the autonomy and axiological neutrality of science. It was, however, the potential democratic applications of behavioralism that prompted financing from philanthropic foundations. See Adcock, “Interpreting Behavioralism.”
  • [49]
    “Given that the meaning attached to the term ‘research’ varied widely, then any attempt to provide an agreed meaning to this term is doomed to fail in such an epistemologically differentiated department” (Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair, “Report on the Future Profile of the Department of Political and Social Sciences,” December 3, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/27.01).
  • [50]
  • [51]
    Palayret, A University for Europe, 191.
  • [52]
    A note written before the “profile” of the institute was defined even indicates that its job was “not to focus its research on problems of European integration or even limit it to research on the functioning of the communities.” While this idea was not included in later versions, it does illustrate the doubts of the founders as to the purpose of the institution they were in the process of creating. See “Avant-projet de synthèse concernant les finalités de l’action de l’Institut,” HAEU, dossier EUI-2, November 30, 1972, no 2074/72 (EN 75).
  • [53]
    Jacques Georgel, “Lettre à Athanasios Moulakis,” December 3, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/26.09.
  • [54]
    On the role on the sociology of stratification in the transatlantic importance of quantitative methods in sociology, see Thibaud Boncourt, “La science internationale comme ressource. Genèse et développement des associations européennes de sciences sociales,” Revue française de sociologie 57, no. 3 (2016): 529-61.
  • [55]
    Bartolini and Mair, “Report on the Future Profile of the Department of Political and Social Sciences.”
  • [56]
    Cohen, “The Atlantic Structuration of European Studies.”
  • [57]
    See in particular Polin, “De l’Institut international.” As it has been impossible to compile a list of all the members of the IIPP, it is possible that other lecturers invited by Cranston may also have belonged to it.
  • [58]
    The IIPP was created in 1953 at the Sorbonne by Georges Davy (chairman), Boris Mirkine-Guetzévitch (executive vice-chairman), and Raymond Polin (secretary general) (“Foundation of the Institut International de Philosophie Politique,” International Social Science Bulletin 5, no. 4 [1953]: 856-857).
  • [59]
    Carl Friedrich, founding member of the IIPP, was also a member of the executive committee of the IPSA from 1964 to 1976. Raymond Aron, original member of both the IPSA and the IIPP was for a time a member of the executive committee of the International Sociological Association. Karl Deutsch was a member of the committee of the IPSA from 1970 to 1976 and a member of the IIPP.
  • [60]
    The American and transnational dissemination of behavioralism was financed by American government programs, philanthropic foundations (Ford, Rockefeller), and think tanks (RAND Corporation) with a view to consolidating intellectual links between the United States and their allies and containing Communist influence. For more details on this issue, see in particular, S.M. Amadae, Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy. The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003).
  • [61]
    Letter from Warren Miller to Hans Daalder, March 13, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/25.18.
  • [62]
    Letter from Hans Daalder to the EUI academic board, May 11, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/25.18.
  • [63]
    Collective letter from Hans Daalder, February 13, 1977, Daalder Archives, dossier 7.2/25.18.
  • [64]
    For an overview of the concept of centrality, see Nacim Fateh Chikhi, “Calcul de centralité et identification de structures de communautés dans les graphes de documents” (PhD diss. in mathematics and artificial intelligence supervised by Nathalie Aussenac-Gilles, Université Toulouse III, 2010), 20-25.
  • [65]
    For the intellectual and social links between these two paradigms, see Roa Bastos, “Des partis paradigmatiques.”
  • [66]
    Boncourt, “L’internationalisation.”
  • [67]
    In order to simplify matters, not all the American research centers involved have been represented here. For examples, particularly the case of the University of California, Berkeley, see Hauptmann, “The Ford Foundation.” For more details on American development in this phase, see also Adcock, “Interpreting Behavioralism”; and Hauptmann, “Propagandists.”
  • [68]
    Daalder, Comparative European Politics; Richard Rose, Learning about Politics in Time and Space (Colchester, UK: ECPR Press, 2014).
  • [69]
    Thibaud Boncourt, “The Transnational Circulation of Scientific Ideas: Importing Behavioralism in European Political Science (1950-1970),” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 51, no. 2 (2015): 195-215.
  • [70]
  • [71]
    In 1981, the members of the department wished to recruit a French academic to replace Jacques Georgel. Although the post was given to Padioleau in the end, other representatives of French methodological individualism–François Bourricaud and Raymond Boudon–were also sounded out (letter from H. Daalder to S. Rokkan, May 3, 1979, Daalder Archives, dossier 8/53.11). Boudon also had other links with the department, to which he was invited in 1981 (“Projet de compte rendu de la 68e réunion du conseil académique, session restreinte du 19 juin 1980,” HAEU, dossier 746, September 10, 1980).
  • [72]
    Renate Mayntz was the only woman in the transnational networks represented in Figure 1. The exclusion of women, almost institutionalized (see the agenda of the IPSA congress in Geneva in 1964 which included a program for “free time activities for ladies” including a “visit to the old town” and a “trip to the country”) merits its own historical sociology to complement the contemporary work on the “academic glass ceiling.” See, for example, Mareva Sabatier, “Do Female Researchers Face a Glass Ceiling in France? A Hazard Model of Promotions,” Applied Economics 42, no. 16 (2010): 2053-62.
  • [73]
    Letter from Stein Rokkan to Hans Daalder, April 3, 1978, Daalder Archives, dossier 18/54.03. P. Flora, previously from Mannheim, would also be chairperson of the CPS from 1987 to 1993.
  • [74]
    Behavioralism and macrosociology were not strictly speaking hegemonic in the department before 1982. Vincent Wright, a member of the department from 1980 to 1982, was, however, the only SPS professor in the period who did not share this research perspective.
  • [75]
    Peter Flora et al., State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe, 1815-1975. A Data Handbook in Two Volumes (London: Macmillan Press, 1983).
  • [76]
    For the publication on this project, see Yves Mény and Vincent Wright, Centre-Periphery Relations in Western Europe. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1985), as well as Vincent Wright, “The Path to Hesitant Comparison,” in Comparative European Politics, ed. Hans Daalder, 169-70 for information on his years at the EUI and his gradual conversion to comparative and collective research.
  • [77]
  • [78]
    While these currents were dominant in the SPS department, they accompanied the department’s growth and its need to accommodate other research subjects and theoretical movements: international relations (Friderich V. Kratochwil, Pascal Vennesson), social theory (Steven Lukes, Peter Wagner), and the comparative political sociology of migration (Rainer Bauböck, Virginie Guiraudon).
  • [79]
    Ioana Popa, “La structuration internationale des études européennes: un espace scientifique dissymétrique,” in La “nouvelle gouvernance européenne.” Genèses et usages politiques d’un livre blanc, ed. Didier Georgakakis and Marine de Lassalle (Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2008), 148.
  • [80]
    Parsons, “Book Review: Héritier, A. (2007).”
  • [81]
    Gerald Schneider, Matthew Gabel, and Simon Hix, “European Union Politics: Editorial Statement,” European Union Politics 1, no.1 (2000): 5-7; Ben Rosamond, Theories of European Integration (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), 158-63.
  • [82]
    Philippe Schmitter, “Examining the Present Euro-Polity with the Help of Past Theories,” in Governance in the European Union, ed. Gary Marks, Fritz Scharpf, Philippe Schmitter, and Wolfgang Streeck (London: Sage, 1996), 1-14; see also Ben Rosamond, “The Political Sciences of European Integration: Disciplinary History and EU Studies” (presentation, conference of the European Union Studies Association [EUSA], Montreal, May 17-19, 2007, 24.
  • [83]
    Franz Traxler and Philippe Schmitter, “The Emerging Euro-Polity and Organized Interests,” European Journal of International Relations 1, no. 2 (1995): 191-218.
  • [84]
    Stefano Bartolini, Restructuring Europe: Centre Formation, System Building, and Political Structuring between the Nation State and the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • [85]
    Simon Hix, “Political Parties in the European Union System: A ‘Comparative Politics Approach’ to the Development of the Party Federations” (PhD diss. supervised by Maurizio Cotta, European University Institute, 1995); David Coen, “The Large Firm as a Political Actor in the European Union. An Empirical Study of the Behaviour and Logic” (PhD diss. in political science supervised by Giandomenico Majone, European University Institute, 1996); Yannis Karagiannis, “Preference Heterogeneity and Equilibrium Institutions. The Case of European Competition Policy” (PhD diss. in political science supervised by Adrienne Héritier, European University Institute, 2007).
  • [86]
    Joseph Jupille, “Knowing Europe: Metatheory and Methodology in European Union Studies,” in Palgrave Advances in European Union Studies, ed. Michelle Cini and Angela Bourne (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 225, cited in Rosamond, “The Political Sciences,” 12.
  • [87]
    See, for example, Philippe Schmitter, How to Democratize the European Union.. . And Why Bother? (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000); Simon Hix and Andreas Follesdal, “Why There Is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik,” Journal of Common Market Studies 44, no. 3 (2006): 533-62.
  • [88]
    See, for example, Larry Diamond and Leonardo Morlino, “The Quality of Democracy: An Overview,” Journal of Democracy 15, no. 4 (2004): 20-31.
  • [89]
    See Hix and Follesdal, “Why There Is a Democratic Deficit in the EU.”
  • [90]
    Pierre Bourdieu, “Le champ littéraire,” Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 89 (1991): 3-46; Gisèle Sapiro, La guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953 (Paris: Fayard, 1999).
  • [91]
    Ben Rosamond, “European Integration and the Social Science of EU Studies: The Disciplinary Politics of a Subfield,” International Affairs 83, no. 2 (2007): 231-52.
  • [92]
    Peter Katzenstein, A World of Regions. Asia and Europe in the American Imperium (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005).

Founded in 1976 in Florence, the European University Institute embodied the goal of legitimising the European project on the basis of scientific knowledge. This article seeks to shed light on how such a political imperative was refracted throughout the scientific activities of the Institute, as well as to describe the type of knowledge that the Institute produced and to understand its contribution to the creation of European archives. Drawing on a study of the history of the Institute’s department of social and political science and using a wide variety of archival materials, this article illustrates how a behaviouralist, quantitative and comparative political science of Europe came to dominate the department’s work. The trajectory of this paradigmatic victory highlights one of the mechanisms which govern certain perspectives that are key to European studies today.


  • European University Institute
  • the construction of Europe
  • social science history
  • knowledge and power
  • behaviouralism
Thibaud Boncourt
Thibaud Boncourt gained his doctorate in political science from Sciences Po Bordeaux in 2011 and since then has been a lecturer in political science at Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne and a member of the Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique (CESSP) (European Center for Sociology and Political Science). His work has focused predominantly on the relationships between science, politics, and processes of internationalization. With Johan Heilbron and Gustavo Sorá, he recently co-edited The Social and Human Sciences in Global Power Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) (Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, département de science politique, 14 rue Cujas, 75005 Paris).
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