Subnational government and transnational networking: the rationalist logic of local level Europeanization

Christopher Huggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The involvement of subnational actors in EU politics has become an increasingly
recognized facet of European integration. However, this highlights an interesting
puzzle: subnational authorities in unitary and centralized polities usually lack formal competence and have limited resources to engage beyond their territorial limits. Why, then, do they engage at the European level? This article addresses this question by exploring their motivations for participation in European transnational networking. These motivations are assessed against a Europeanization framework, exploring whether subnational authorities adopt the ‘logic of consequentialism’ or the ‘logic of appropriateness’ when engaging in transnational networking. The article argues that subnational authorities are rational actors, maximizing the opportunities presented by the EU without subscribing to its normative aims. In a context marked by financial pressures and Brexit, these findings provide a useful foundation for analysing the
ongoing EU–local relationship, and for explaining changes to subnational authorities’ approaches to European engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1282
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number6
Early online date10 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Europeanization
  • subnational government
  • transnational networking
  • EU-local relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Subnational government and transnational networking: the rationalist logic of local level Europeanization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this