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Building Europe's ParliamentDemocratic Representation Beyond the Nation State$
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Berthold Rittberger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199273421.001.0001

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Parliamentary Institutions in International Polities: What are the Conditions?

Parliamentary Institutions in International Polities: What are the Conditions?

(p.38) 2 Parliamentary Institutions in International Polities: What are the Conditions?
Building Europe's Parliament

Berthold Rittberger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Develops a three-staged theory to explain why national governments have created and successively empowered the European Parliament. In a first step, it is argued that attempts by national governments to transfer sovereignty to the EU-level in order to improve the problem-solving capacity of their domestic polities threaten to undermine domestic channels of interest representation and accountability. These challenges are commonly perceived by political elites in the member states as a ‘democratic legitimacy deficit’. In a second step, it is argued that the proposals political elites in different member states advance to alleviate the ‘democratic legitimacy deficit’ vary across and even within member states. In the final step, the chapter inquires how the different concerns about the ‘democratic legitimacy deficit’ affect the interaction among national governments during Treaty amending intergovernmental conferences. For each stage in the development of the theory, the chapter develops a set of hypotheses and observable implications. The hypotheses are subjected to empirical scrutiny in the ensuing chapters.

Keywords:   communicative action, constitution-building, delegation, democratic deficit, legitimacy, pooling, rhetorical action, transfer of sovereignty

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