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European integration and the administrative state. A longitudinal study on self-reinforcing administrative bias

Journal of European Public Policy, 2018


Nadja Kühn, Jarle Trondal


The study demonstrates how the EU contributes to a self-reinforcing administrative bias due to domestic-level organizational factors. Strong European integration without membership reinforces a politico-administrative gap and this gap expands over time. The paper applies an extreme case of high integration without formal EU membership represented by Norway. The findings suggest that the EU contributes to reinforce the administrative state through strong unintended assimilation effects. The findings are probed by a novel and comprehensive longitudinal data-set consisting of a large-N single case (N= 3562) questionnaire study among government officials at three points in the Norwegian central administration: 1996, 2006 and 2016. Theoretically, the paper examines the role of organizational factors in administrative integration and how the impact of the EU is mediated by organizational variables at the national level.