European policy-makers often speak of their efforts to ‘manage globalization’. We argue that the advocacy of managed globalization is more than a rhetorical device and indeed has been a primary driver of major European Union (EU) policies over the past 25 years. We sketch the outlines of the concept of managed globalization, raise broad questions about its extent, and describe five major mechanisms through which it has been pursued: (1) expanding policy scope; (2) exercising regulatory influence; (3) empowering international institutions; (4) enlarging the territorial sphere of EU influence; and (5) redistributing the costs of globalization. These mechanisms are neither entirely novel, nor are they necessarily effective, but they provide the contours of an approach to globalization that is neither ad hoc deregulation nor old-style economic protectionism.
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