The European Union (EU) is a rule-governed polity. I propose a theory of procedural politics which demonstrates and explains the importance of rules generally and in the EU. I hypothesize that political actors strategically manipulate the rules according to which policies are made in order to maximize their own influence in the policymaking process. The choice of rules results from variations in three factors: the substantive ambiguity surrounding the nature of policy proposals, the preferences of political actors, and actors' bargaining resources. Understanding rule-governance in the EU is critical to understanding international relations and the prospects for peace and security globally. Understanding procedural politics illuminates political dynamics across a wide range of national, regional, and international political systems. A 1998 SSRC International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship will permit me to refine and test this theory in the EU and suggest comparative applications. It will also allow me to complete my dissertation and will promote my goal of becoming a professor of Political Science in a U.S. university.