Federalism is a difficult political endeavor; the United States, despite having had over two hundred years to establish a federal system, still struggles to find a balance between states’ rights and those of the national government. The Russian Federation of states, formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union, is plagued by separatist and nationalist movements demanding separation from the main federation. This paper will address the founding of the European Union and its organizations. Since different theories of international relations view political events in vastly different ways, the standard schools of thought (realist, liberalist, and feminist) regarding these international organizations will be specifically examined regarding their opinion on EU developments.
The European Union, in uniting the nations of Europe under a regional system of sovereign states, attempts to unify one of the most diverse cultural regions in the world under a single banner; diverse languages, currencies, historical tensions and a variety of political systems populated Europe prior to the creation of the EU, and many persist today. This diversity has given the region much of its culture and heritage, but now it has faced the task of finding a method of coexisting under a federation of states in the EU. Additionally, the devastation of the Second World War was felt most harshly in Europe, requiring massive rebuilding efforts of both the physical components of the nations and also of the political and social organizations. Doing this, the nations harbored suspicion and, on occasion, hostility toward one another’s motives and ambitions (McCormick 1999, p. 85).
International organizations have, since the creation of the United Nations after the Second World War, served a function as international intermediaries in order to support communication and cooperation between sovereign states (Taylor 2001, p. 335). The trend, as noted above, has been for regions to increase rather than decrease their international cooperation as the economy and cultures of nations become more globalized. However, the motives behind such international organization are viewed differently by the different theories of international relations. Realists, liberals (also referred to as “institutionalists” or “functionalists”), and feminist scholars all view the creation of the European Union through different lenses due to their varying interpretations of the motivations behind states’ membership in such an international organization.
Pragmatists view regional institutes like the European Union as “a gathering of sovereign states” all in a continual conflict with other states because the rather make decisions based on what is in their interest (McCormick 1999, p. 10). These issues, may be postponed, deliberately set aside, or even resolved, but that will not stop each state from continuing to function under its own authority within its borders Realism views the state as a part of the...