The general role of theory is to attempt to give an explanation for why events occur in the manner that they do. European Integration theories all try to give the audience an account for why policies and institutions behave in a certain manner, make decisions, or progress in a certain way. I think what Pollack said at the end of chapter 2 about scholars theorizing European integration seems accurate not just for the EU but many different theories for other topics as well: “theorizers of European Integration [are] blind men touching an elephant, each one feeling a different part of the elephant purporting to describe a very different animal” (42). It is difficult to agree upon a theory if scholars are analyzing the EU from its many different angles or from the multiple layers that make up the union. European integration is also difficult to generalize because it is constantly evolving as more states enter the union.Pollack and Hooghe & Marks compare and contrast a few different theories of integration including neo-functionlism, intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and even constructivism; all having overlapping ideas but essentially trying to predict how integration will take place from different perspectives.
Considering the current crisis it would seem that neo-functionalists and intergovernmentalists would rally to place more authority into the institution to solve matters with sectorial cooperation rather than depend upon the individual nation-states. As the EU Observer illustrates, the economic centralization of the EU in response (2013) to the crisis aligns well with intergovernmentalism/neo-functionalism in that more power is seemingly given to the institution.Constructivism argues that individual identities are shaped by our social environment in which we consider socially constructed rules and institutions to determine our actions and behaviors towards certain situations (Pollack, p. 24). This theory would suggest that each member state of the EU would resolve the crisis through social institutions which are woven into the makeup of the EU. However, constructivism would be difficult to quantify as it suggests that the EU would be influencing the preferences and behaviors of the member governments and not that individual agents influence the interests of the EU.