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Power and LegitimacyReconciling Europe and the Nation-State$
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Peter L. Lindseth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390148.001.0001

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The Interwar Crisis and the Postwar Constitutional Settlement of Administrative Governance

The Interwar Crisis and the Postwar Constitutional Settlement of Administrative Governance

(p.61) TWO The Interwar Crisis and the Postwar Constitutional Settlement of Administrative Governance
Power and Legitimacy

Peter L. Lindseth

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the national antecedents to European integration by looking at the postwar constitutional settlement of administrative governance on the national level in more detail. It begins by describing the constitutional crises of the interwar period. The first section surveys the strains placed on traditional conceptions of separation of powers during the interwar period (the so-called ‘crisis of parliamentary democracy’) and the role of functionalism as an idée-force in both domestic public-law debates and international-relations theory. This discussion focuses particularly on the views of Carl Schmitt and David Mitrany. The chapter then turns to the elements of the postwar constitutional settlement: the phenomenon of delegation and the redefinition of the role of constitutional legislatures (parliaments); the role of the chief executive in providing ‘plebiscitary leadership’ for the growing technocratic-administrative sphere; and finally the emergence of courts as mechanisms to ensure constitutional commitments to individual rights and collective democratic structures. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the system of ‘mediated legitimacy’ as essential to the constitutional stabilization of administrative governance in the postwar decades, on which European integration would also subsequently build.

Keywords:   interwar period, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, delegation, democracy, dictatorship, functionalism, David Mitrany, Carl Schmitt, plebiscitary leadership, mediated legitimacy

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