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In Defense of the “Democratic Deficit”: Reassessing Legitimacy in the European Union. CES Working Paper, no. 92, 2003

Moravcsik, Andrew. (2003) In Defense of the “Democratic Deficit”: Reassessing Legitimacy in the European Union. CES Working Paper, no. 92, 2003. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    Concern about the EU’s ‘democratic deficit’ is misplaced. Judged against prevailing standards in existing advanced industrial democracies, rather than those of an ideal plebiscitary or parliamentary democracy, the EU is democratically legitimate. Its institutions are tightly constrained by constitutional checks and balances: narrow mandates, fiscal limits, super-majoritarian and concurrent voting requirements and separation of powers. There is little evidence that the EU impacts an unjustifiable neo-liberal bias on EU policy. The apparently disproportionate insulation of EU institutions reflects the subset of functions they perform – central banking, constitutional adjudication, civil prosecution, economic diplomacy and technical administration – which are matters of low electoral salience commonly delegated in national systems, for normatively justifiable reasons. Efforts to expand participation in the EU, even if successful, are thus unlikely to greatly expand meaningful deliberation. On balance, the EU redresses rather than creates biases in political representation, deliberation and output.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > democracy/democratic deficit
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > legitimacy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies > CES Working Papers Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2009
    Page Range: p. 18
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:59
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9136

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