Functionalism and transactionalism are important concepts in the history of European integration. Like federalism, both functionalism and transactionalism are largely prescriptive, offering a proposed means of reducing the risk of conflict between states, although they do offer a certain degree of explanatory value as well.
However, functionalism and transactionalism differ from federalism in that they both claim that form follows function. For functionalists and transactionalists, the functions of cooperation are more important than the right kind of institutional forms (federal or otherwise).
However, they do so in quite different ways from each other and both aim at different end-goals.
Read the following extract on functionalism and transactionalism to find out more.
Note in particular,
- The different types of cooperation advocated by each approach
- Functionalist’s fears about federal structures at a European level
- The social dimension of cooperation outlined by transactionalists