In this 2006 book, Jonas Tallberg offers a novel perspective on some of the most fundamental questions about international cooperation and European Union politics. Offering the first systematic theoretical and empirical exploration of the influence wielded by chairmen of multilateral negotiations, Tallberg develops a rationalist theory of formal leadership and demonstrates its explanatory power through carefully selected case studies of EU negotiations. He shows that the rotating Presidency of the EU constitutes a power platform that grants governments unique opportunities to shape the outcomes of negotiations. His provocative analysis establishes that Presidencies, while performing vital functions for the EU, simultaneously exploit their privileged political position to favour national interests. Extending the scope of the analysis to international negotiations on trade, security and the environment, Tallberg further demonstrates that the influence of the EU Presidency is not an isolated occurrence but the expression of a general phenomenon in world politics - the power of the chair.
Jonas Tallberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University and a Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. He has published numerous articles on international cooperation and EU politics and is the author of European Governance and Supranational Institutions: Making States Comply (2003).
1. Introduction; 2. Formal leadership: a rational institutionalist theory; 3. The institutional development of the EU presidency: a search for efficient cooperation; 4. The EU presidency as agenda manager: shaping political priorities; 5. The EU presidency as broker: constructing intergovernmental bargains; 6. The EU presidency as representative: negotiating on behalf of others; 7. Comparative perspectives: formal leadership in multilateral negotiations; 8. Conclusion.