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"The behavioral implications of the EU's 'democratic deficit' (and what students of the 'democratic deficit' forgot to be bothered about)"

Rittberger, Berthold. (2003) "The behavioral implications of the EU's 'democratic deficit' (and what students of the 'democratic deficit' forgot to be bothered about)". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, TN. (Unpublished)

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    This paper sets out by illuminating a paradox: While the “democratic deficit’ –literature continues to flourish by critically assessing the democratic credentials of the EU policy, explanations of the EU’s institutional design and reform almost exclusively emphasize the policy-power-and efficiency-seeing motivations of political actors. Yet, whereas academics, politicians and the public seem to care about the “democratic deficit”, it is ever more surprising that concerns for “democracy” feature so little (and seem to matter so little) in accounts to explain the design and reform of the EU institutions. In this paper, I argue that the potential behavioral implications of the “democratic deficit” on questions of institutional design and reform have been obscured as a result of the most implicit conceptualization of the “democratic deficit” as dependent variable. In contrast, by conceptualizing the “democratic deficit” as an independent variable, this paper not only shows that the “democratic deficit”, as perceived by political elites, carries far-reaching implications for institutional design and reform which most insitutionalist accounts fail to explain; it also demonstrates that one of the EU’s distinct and defining institutional feature – when compared to other majoritarian institution, can only be understood adequately when taking into account the behavioral implications of the “democratic deficit”.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > democracy/democratic deficit
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > general
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2003 (8th), March 27-29, 2003
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2005
    Page Range: p. 22
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:24

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