Reconceptualizing European Union regulatory networks: A response to Blauberger and Rittberger

Andrew Tarrant, Roger Kelemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This article responds to Michael Blauberger and Berthold Rittberger's article “Conceptualizing and theorizing EU regulatory networks,” published in Regulation & Governance in 2015. Blauberger and Rittberger challenged our previous work on the politics of Eurocracy, disputing our argument that political considerations, not functional ones, explain the choice of bureaucratic structure in the European Union (EU). Blauberger and Rittberger suggest that functional considerations do indeed explain why policymakers sometimes prefer governance through European Regulatory Networks rather than through more centralized EU agencies, and argue that we have misunderstood the preferences of EU legislative principals. In this article, we argue that there are significant flaws in Blauberger and Rittberger's analysis on both theoretical and empirical grounds. We show that a proper interpretation of developments in both telecoms and competition lends support to our theoretical claims and not those offered by Blauberger and Rittberger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalRegulation and Governance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Law


  • European Union
  • agencies
  • competition
  • regulation
  • telecommunications

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