Abstract and Keywords
This article demonstrates that EU scholarship has much to gain from exploring more systematically than has hitherto been the case the institutionalization of political time in the EU political system; temporal regularities in its operation; and typical time games which are played within and amongst the main EU institutions. Of course, time rarely matters on its own. Its full implications in terms of the distribution of power, decisional efficiency and effectiveness, and the legitimacy of processes and outcomes can only be grasped if the temporal dimension of institutions and time-centred strategic and tactical behaviour of actors are considered in connection with other elements of the institutionalization of the EU political system and other resources that actors have at their disposal. As Scharpf's actor-centred institutionalism highlights, institutional analysis must take account of specific actor constellations, interests, and priorities if it wants to understand how institutions help to shape outcomes.
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