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Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik

  • Follesdal, Andreas
  • Hix, Simon
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    In a series of recent papers, Giandomenico Majone and Andrew Moravcsik have ‘raised the bar’ in the debate over the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ in the European Union. These two influential scholars both contend that much of the existing analysis is flawed and that the EU is as democratic as it could, and even should, be. We accept many of Moravcsik’s and Majone’s arguments. However, we disagree about one key element: that a democratic polity requires contestation for political leadership and argument over the direction of the policy agenda. This aspect, which is ultimately the difference between a democracy and an enlightened form of authoritarianism, is an essential element of even the ‘thinnest’ theories of democracy, yet is conspicuously weak in the EU.

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    Paper provided by CONNEX and EUROGOV networks in its series European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) with number 2.

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    Date of creation: 14 Mar 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:eurogo:p0002
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    1. Giandomenico Majone, 2000. "The Credibility Crisis of Community Regulation," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 273-302, 06.
    2. Giandomenico Majone, 1993. "The European Community Between Social Policy and Social Regulation," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 153-170, 06.
    3. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2005. "Power to parties: cohesion and competition in the European Parliament 1979-2001," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7752, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
    5. McKay, David, 2001. "Designing Europe: Comparative Lessons from the Federal Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244355, March.
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