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Isomoprhic Pressures and the European Union: The Transfer of Public Accountability Organizations to the Supranational Level

Kourtikakis, Konstantinos (2007) Isomoprhic Pressures and the European Union: The Transfer of Public Accountability Organizations to the Supranational Level. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research study addresses questions of institutional creation and change and contributes to two bodies of literature, namely, institutional theory and European Union politics. The broad question it asks is why different political systems contain similar institutions. I am specifically concerned with institutional similarities between the European Union and its member states. To provide an answer, I have conducted two extensive case studies, on the European Court of Auditors and the Office of the European Ombudsman. Both are European Union bodies which belong to a specific class of governmental institutions, namely independent organizations responsible for public accountability. I examine the two cases comparatively, in order to evaluate the explanatory power of the theory of institutional isomorphism against alternative perspectives on the basis of qualitative data, mainly official documents and elite interviews. Isomorphic theory asserts that similarities among different systems can be explained by the exercise of homogenizing pressures by actors. I examine which of the three main forces proposed by the theory are necessary to explain institutional similarity. On the basis of the two case studies, I find that the collusion of coercive pressures from member state governments and tendencies of EU institutions to mimic member state practices is a necessary condition for the transfer of institutions to the European Union structure.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeters, B Guybgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee MemberSbragia, Alberta Msbragia@pitt.eduSBRAGIA
Committee MemberThomas, Daniel Cdcthomas@pitt.eduDCTHOMAS
Committee MemberPierre,
Committee MemberGoodhart, Michael Egoodhart@pitt.eduGOODHART
Date: 21 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 April 2007
Approval Date: 21 June 2007
Submission Date: 18 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: accountability; European Court of Auditors; European Ombudsman; European Union; institutional transfer; institutions
Other ID:, etd-04182007-103032
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:38
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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