The Clash of Hypotheses: The EU's Eastern Enlargement

  • Vít Beneš
Keywords: EU enlargement, international relations theory, rationalism, neorealism, neoliberalism, constructivism, sociological institutionalism, Wittgensteinian constructivism


This paper presents four hypotheses about the causes of the 2004 Eastern enlargement of the EU. Each of them draws upon a distinct theory of international relations, from neorealism, through neoliberalism and social institutionalism, to linguistic, Wittgensteinian constructivism. Each hypothesis is preceded by a short introduction into the theory itself, its basic assumptions about the nature of the international system and the incentives for individual agent's behaviour. The core of each chapter is the construction of particular hypothesis on the causes of the past EU enlargement on the grounds of these more general (meta)theoretical propositions. The hypotheses themselves are not empirically tested and assessed here. Nevertheless, in some cases I offer alterations or corrections to the basic hypotheses in response to critiques.

Author Biography

Vít Beneš



Research Articles