After exploring the articles presented by Moravcsik, Sandholtz & Zysman, and Garrett, I feel that the account of the Single European Act presented by Geoffrey Garrett offers the best policy analysis. Both the Moravcsik and Sandholtz &Zysman articles are very heavy on theory and spend a lot of time discussing the bargaining process involved in the SEA, but their analysis lacked any structure even similar to that offered in the policy analysis materials available to us. In contrast, the Garrett article presented an analysis that follows a structure generally similar to what I was expecting.
Garrett first discussed the motivations for EC member state interest in a single market using an in depth explanation of the situation as it is similar to the prisoner’s dilemma. An integrated internal market will only benefit all parties if everyone is aware that no other actor can swindle the system. Because there is no reliable way for all the EC member states to be constantly aware of each other’s behavior the implementation of the single market required supranational institutions to monitor the internal market for any rule-breakers (557).
Garrett does not offer much explanation in terms of implementation of the internal market as not much is really needed (directives, once accepted, become national law), however he does discuss how, why and by whom the policy was shaped. The two largest countries: France and Germany, had the most influence during negotiations, and thus the policy itself is representative of their preferences (support of universal recognition of national standards and opposition to deregulation of national economies) (554).
Unfortunately, one major part of the analysis is missing in Garrett’s article: an evaluation. He spends quite a bit of time discussing the legal implications of the Single European Act but hardly touches on any overarching takeaways from this major event.
Considering that the evaluation of the policy after it has been implemented is possibly the most important part of a policy analysis, particularly a historical policy analysis, it is very disappointing that Garrett does not go into greater detail here. With that in mind, I maintain that the Garrett article was a better representation of the Single European Act; its formation and its influence in the history of the European Union.