The Unfinished Democratization of Europe

Hardcover | October 15, 2009

byErik O. Eriksen

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The widening and deepening of the European Union have brought to the fore the question of democracy at the European level. The system of domination already in place at the European level requires and aspires to direct legitimation - from the citizens themselves and not merely indirect, derivedfrom the Member Nation States. Such can only be achieved by making the EU into a democratic polity.But can democracy be disassociated from its putative nation-state foundation? A revised concept of democratic legitimacy based on discourse theory is developed. It is argued that post-national democracy requires a constitution but not necessarily a state. The Union amounts to less than a state but more than an international organisation and a system of transnational governance. In the political theory of the multilevel constellation that makes up the EU, it is conceived of as a regional subset of an emerging cosmopolitan order. The EU is a state-lessgovernment. As it is not premised on group identity, it is able to accommodate a high measure of variance with regard to territory and function. The book analyzes the reforms undertaken to bring the EU 'closer to the citizens'. It documents elements of democratization and reduction of arbitrary power. However, democracy requires that the citizens can approve or reject the laws they are subjected to. Since the institutional as well as thecivic conditions under which a public justification process would be deemed legitimate are not in place, European post-national democracy remains an unaccomplished mission.

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The widening and deepening of the European Union have brought to the fore the question of democracy at the European level. The system of domination already in place at the European level requires and aspires to direct legitimation - from the citizens themselves and not merely indirect, derivedfrom the Member Nation States. Such can onl...

Erik O. Eriksen is Professor, Dr. Philos, and Director of ARENA - Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is currently coordinator of RECON (Reconstituting Democracy in Europe), an Integrated Project under the European Commission's sixth framework program. His main fields of interest are political theory, dem...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pagesPublished:October 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572518

ISBN - 13:9780199572519

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: European Democracy in TransformationPart I: The Democratic Challenge2. The Quest for Democratization3. Democratic Legitimacy Through Deliberation?Part II: Elements of Democratization4. Europe - On the Search for its Legitimacy5. Chartering Europe6. The Cosmopolitan Dimension7. A layered European Public SpherePart III: What Kind of Legitimate Order?8. Government or Transnational Governance?9. Government without a State10. Parliamentary Democracy Without a DemosFinale - An Unaccomplished Post-National DemocracyBibliographyIndex