Project on Trade Union Cooperation in the European Union

Nathan Campion, Aron Szpisjak, Casper Poulsen & Niklas Westerberg

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


The first section will describe the project’s methodological considerations as well is Philosophy of Social Science and our two main theories. The second section will focus on how we were able to utilize our theories, PSS, methods, etc. in our analysis and how we gathered the data from the interviews. The last section will have a short summary of the whole project with our expectations. The project’s focus was on trade unions in the European Union and examining them whether they cooperated with one another transnationally. In order to analyze an integration process we decided to bring in the two grand European integration theories, respectively liberal intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism. Our choice of theory had implications for our choice of Philosophy of Social Science in a way that they both assumed a positivist PSS. This meant that we would need to be positivist during the conduction of the interviews but since our aim was to see which theory would explain our case the best, we needed to be critical towards both of them. Hence the reason our analytical strategy has three different sections where the first two which analyze the interviews are done with a positivist perspective and the meta-analysis was done with a critical realist perspective in order to be critical to the two theories. This next section will describe how we actually gathered the data and worked with the results from our two interviews. The first interview with DM went surprisingly well. The interview provided us with a large data pool and Mr. Andersen was very cooperative in answering our many follow-up questions because of being positivist. The second interview with 3F, more specifically Mr. Clausen, also went well although not as well as the last one. Mr. Clausen was slightly harder to interview because he elaborated a lot on specific parts of his organization with many examples. This lead us to ask him even more follow-up questions to actually get the answer we intended. When both of the interviews were done a thorough transcription was made from them. We started on the analysis with focus on which theory would explain our data the best. As it was expected we soon confirmed our suspicions that neofunctionalism would provide a better explanation as well as in more areas of the data. For instance liberal intergovernmentalism does not consider that actors might try to sway their governments to their own benefits, contrary to neofunctionalism. In the beginning of the project work we did not have such a deep understanding of the two theories among many other things. When we got familiar with the concepts and PSSs as well as the theories we had reasonable knowledge to predict what our analysis would be like. We thought that in the actual analysis of the data, neofunctionalism would take up most of the space because it is just more applicable to our case than neofunctionalism. Then in the meta-analysis the two theories clashed and the answer to the question whether neofunctionalism or liberal intergovernmentalism explains this case better was answered clearly by neofunctionalism.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato5 feb. 2014
VejledereOle Helby Petersen


  • European Union
  • integration
  • trade unions