Considerable debate exists, in both academic and policy circles, about the utility of the European Union (EU) as a model for regional integration schemes elsewhere. While discussions of this sort remain interesting and important, they frequently run into the problem of the EU’s specificity, which in turn hinders our capacity to make generalisations based upon the experience of European integration. In this paper, we think slightly differently about the relationship between the EU and the global political economy through the exploration of two distinct, but related, sets of questions. The first bundle of issues surrounds the EU’s ‘balance of trade’ in various policy methodologies. Following Helen Wallace, we examine the ways in which the deployment of various styles of governance (including the classical ‘Monnet method’) have impacts upon or relate to the practices of economic governance elsewhere. The second set of questions emerge from the issue of ‘actorness’ in a global polity and the place that entities such as the EU might play in such a world order. In particular, we examine the politics of recognition in the global polity and a series of questions relating to the prerequisites for action in a globalised world
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