The Mundane Face of Europeanization : Norm Implementation through Expert Interactions in Georgia 2012-2020

Abstract: Numerous studies, using the Europeanization theoreticalframework, have looked into why and how EU-supportednorms and policies are adopted in non EU-Member States, focusingeither on the mechanisms through which they are diffusedor on the local actors´ responses to such demands. However,the practical implementation of such norms and policies in thirdcountries has only received modest attention in academic andpolicy-related studies. Indeed, the “law in the books” is not necessarilythe “law in action”.Going beyond the top-down approach that have extensively characterized Europeanization studies, this dissertation will operatea return to the “mundane face” of Europeanization and looks intohow expert interactions matter for EU law implementation. It showsthat those experts ae highly enthusiast and willing to implement EUdemands and adapted them to fit in their domestic context. Theyact as policy champions and show high degrees of policy saliencywhen fulfilling their tasks. Nevertheless, those champions operatein a difficult administrative and political environment that complicatesEU law compliance, with low administrative capacity, highdegree of staff turn-over, shortages of knowledgeable staff andpolitical actors that might hinder EU law implementation if it is toocostly or in contradiction with domestic vested interests.

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