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Democracy in Europe

Legitimising Politics in a Non-State Polity

Heidrun Abromeit

192 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-985-7 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 1998)

eISBN 978-1-78238-800-5 eBook

Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Buy the ebook from these vendors


Since the beginning of the European Community students of international politics and of international, resp. Constitutional law, have been wondering what kind of animal it is, and will be, once integration has been completed. Whereas the EC Treaty of 1957 stressed the economic aspects and envisioned a steady and dynamic progress towards a Single Market, it was conspicuously silent about the political implications of integration and the new democratic order. What is needed, so the author argues in this powerful and original contribution to the debate on democratisation of the European Union, is a flexible system that supplements the European decision-making process with various direct democratic instruments such as the use of referenda. These would serve to increase the accountability of the politicians without demanding or requiring a definitive resolution of the exact constitutional status of the Union.

Heidrun Abromeit received her Ph.D. and her Habilitation from the University of Mannheim. She has published extensively on the relations between state and industry in Western Europe andnow holds a professorship at the University of Darmstadt.

Subject: Postwar History
Area: Europe


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Incompatibilities

  • The Concept of ‘Sovereignty’
  • Federalism
  • Democracy
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3. Inadequate Solutions

  • The Recent Reform Debate
  • Parliamentarisation
  • Multi-Cameralism
  • Federalism
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4. In Search of an Adequate Model: Theoretical Considerations

  • Contract Theory
  • Fiscal Federalism
  • Concepts of Group Representation
  • Network Analysis and Game Theory
  • New Normative Democratic Theory
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5. A Proposal for the Democratisation of the EU

  • The Practical Task
  • A System of Veto Rights
  • Regional Subunits: the Assignment of Powers
  • Sectoral Subunits: How to Distinguish Them
  • Procedures
  • Some Illustrations
  • A Summary of the Proposal

Chapter 6. Major Objections

  • Democratic Ambivalence (or: How Democratic is Democracy?)
  • Democracy vs. Efficiency
  • Biases and Asymmetries
  • The acquis communautaire

Chapter 7. Models and Realities


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