Representing Europes Citizens?: Electoral Institutions and the Failure of Parliamentary…

Hardcover | May 17, 2007

byDavid M. Farrell, Roger Scully

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The past 15 years have seen declining public support for European integration, and widespread suggestions that a legitimacy crisis faces the European Union (EU). Many in the EU have believed that this problem could be effectively tackled by vesting greater powers in the European Parliament(EP), the Union's only directly-elected institution. The central argument of this book is that, while considerable efforts have been made to increase the status of the EP, it is in crucial respects a failure as a representative body. This failure is grounded in the manner in which the parliament iselected. The electoral systems used for EP elections in many EU countries are, we argue, actively obstructive of Europe's voters being represented in the way that they are most likely to respond positively towards. While the behaviour of EP members is shaped strongly by the electoral systems underwhich they are elected (which vary across the 25 member-states of the EU), the electoral systems currently in place push most of them to behave in ways contrary to what citizens desire. Drawing on public opinion data, surveys of MEPs and considerable qualitative interview evidence, we show that thefailure of parliamentary representation in the EU has a strong foundation in electoral institutions.

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The past 15 years have seen declining public support for European integration, and widespread suggestions that a legitimacy crisis faces the European Union (EU). Many in the EU have believed that this problem could be effectively tackled by vesting greater powers in the European Parliament(EP), the Union's only directly-elected institu...

David Farrell is Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics and Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. Professor Farrell has published extensively in the field of parties, electoral systems and parliamentary representation (particularly focused on the European Parliament), including most recently, The Austr...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:May 17, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199285020

ISBN - 13:9780199285020

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. Introduction: representing Europe's citizens?2. Giving the people what they want to hear: public attitudes to representation in the EU3. Electoral institutions and political representation4. Representation and electoral systems in Europe5. Representation in Europe: the institutions and the individuals6. Electoral institutions and geographical representation7. Electoral reform and the British MEP8. Life under list: representing a region9. Conclusion: the failure of parliamentary representation in EuropeAppendicesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Farrell and Scully's study not only gives a comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date overview of the electoral rules under which the EP is elected, it also offers an insightful analysis of two sources of empirical data: surveys of MEPs from all member states and face-to face interviews with British MEPs... Farrell and Scully's book makes an important contribution to academic discussions on the EP, as well as to the research on electoral systems more generally."--Political Science Quarterly