Publication type: Conference paper
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: The political economy of administrative policy harmonization in the EMU : a discourse network analysis of the EPSAS project
Authors: Horni, Pascal
et. al: No
Conference details: ECPR General Conference 2019, Wroclaw, Poland, 4-7 September 2019
Issue Date: 2019
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 350: Public administration
657: Accounting
Abstract: The European Union’s response to the financial and sovereign debt crisis has been broadly discussed in the literature, but only few contributions acknowledge the importance of the European statistical agency EUROSTAT as an actor within that process. This is surprising, given that the European Government Finance Statistics (GFS) regulatory regime is central when it comes to the implementation of effective fiscal surveillance (Gandrud & Hallerberg, 2016). Fiscal surveillance in the economic and monetary union (EMU) essentially builds on GFS data, which in turn is compiled from accounting information. Because EU member states elaborate their accounting policies independently, heterogeneity in accounting practices arises, which adversely affects GFS data quality (Jesus & Jorge, 2015). In response, EUROSTAT as a directorate of the European Commission has engaged in developing European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS), aimed at introducing binding accrual based governmental accounting practices across the member states. However, beyond the issuance of consultation and reflection papers, ongoing discussions between government officials, EUROSTAT, practitioners and academia, the EPSAS project did not progress much in recent years. This paper aims to explain this stalemate by drawing on a political economy account of integration. In particular, it argues that electoral incentives at the level of the member states hinder integrative progress in this area. This theory will be tested by analysing publicly available consultation papers, which are used to identify the reasons for the stalling of the supranational harmonization efforts. In contrast to previous research (Aggestam & Brusca, 2016) this paper focusses less on the process and the extent of participation, but rather on the substance of the feedback given. In particular, it deploys discourse network analysis to debunk the main arguments and preferences issued in the consultation process. Reaching beyond previous work on the process of “glocalization” of public sector accounting standards (Baskerville & Grossi, 2018), it provides insights into Europeanization of governmental accounting practices and the dynamics of supranational administrative policy harmonization at the interface of political economy.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Management (IVM)
Appears in collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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