This study explores the changes confronting the European telecommunications sector as the long-standing system of seperate monopolies has been replaced by a single market based on competition and common norms set by the European Union. After retracing the development of common polices, Giorgio Natalicchi analyses the role of external and internal forces, such as global competition, national goverments, interest groups and supranational institutions. Employing a variety of conceptual lenses, the author also demonstrates the implications of the telecoms case for theories of European integration. What emerges is a more complex picture than the one portrayed by current paridigms. His findings justify a new "syncretic" approach that combines hypotheses from both theories on regional integration and those on EU policymaking into a single explanatory model.
Giorgio Natalicchi is associate professor of political science at the University of Florence.