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  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: July 2009

10 - The United Kingdom: how is EU governance transformative?


Transformation and governance

This chapter uses the example of part-time work in the UK in order to investigate the transformative nature of EU governance. In line with the other country analyses, we focus on three regulatory sources: EU gender equality law, the 1997 Part-time Work Framework Agreement and Directive (hereafter Part-time Directive) and Title VIII EC Treaty dealing with employment policy.

Given the production at EU level of these regulatory sources concerning part-time work, and the special, well-known, characteristics of the EU as a legal and political entity, rather than focussing on whether EU governance can be transformative, we consider how, and under what circumstances, it can transform a given policy area. Therefore, our interest does not primarily lie in measuring outcomes by, for instance, enquiring whether the lot of part-time workers in the UK has been improved as a result of EU intervention. It lies instead in analysing the distinctive spaces created by various modes of governance with regard to the regulatory and social profile of part-time work in the UK. Of course, these two issues – processes and outcomes – cannot be neatly separated since one important measure of transformative capacity is the magnitude of the change provoked, or influence brought to bear, by a given EU intervention. Notwithstanding that, it remains important to note that we are interested in outcomes from a perspective which is principally interested in the processes of transformation.