The Political Economy of European Security. Cambridge University Press, 2017.


What is the relationship between private actors and international institutions in global governance, as institutions such as the EU develop aspects of political authority once in the sole domain of nation states? Important areas of recent EU development have been immigration, security, and defense policies. Are these EU policies the result of strategic imperatives, or are they also driven by the political economy of markets? Kaija Schilde argues that answers require evaluating the EU in the comparative tradition of the political development of authority. Drawing on industry documents, interviews, interest group data, an original survey, and theories of comparative politics, The Political Economy of European Security demonstrates that interest groups can change the outcomes of developing political institutions because they provide sources of external capacity, which in turn can produce authority over time.

The Political Economy of European Security makes a path breaking argument that the EU can be understood as a case of comparative state-building. It links defense industry interest groups to the political development of EU security and defense policy, making four unique scholarly contributions. First, drawing on comparative political development theory, it provides a new way to understand the ‘organization’ of international organizations, by comparing them to developing states. Second, the book links the low politics of markets and interest groups to the high politics of foreign and security policy, through interest group mobilization and the reation of informal capacity-building institutions. Third, it provides a theory of endogenous institutional change, where informal changes in state capacity can drive changes in formal state authority. Fourth, it predicted contemporary developments in EU migration and border policies such as the convergence of internal and external security and defense policies as partially driven by market and bottom-up interests.