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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 Challenge of Legitimizing Europeanized Administrative Governance

The Challenge of Legitimizing Europeanized Administrative Governance

(p.251) Conclusion The Challenge of Legitimizing Europeanized Administrative Governance
Power and Legitimacy

Peter L. Lindseth

Oxford University Press

After summarizing the arguments of the preceding chapters, this concluding chapter reflects on the principle challenge of European governance going forward: how to legitimize the novel system of supranational administrative governance. This system enjoys significant regulatory power but significantly less autonomous capacity for self-legitimation, for which it depends on the mechanisms of national oversight described in the prior chapters. This concluding chapter asserts that it would be wrong, as some have argued, to view the system of European governance as “beyond delegation,” in which supranational regulatory power now demands an autonomous form of democratic and constitutional legitimation “beyond the state.” This assertion ignores both the history of administrative governance as well as the fundamentally administrative character of the EU. Europeanized administrative governance is no doubt complex, but it still remains dependent on the historically constituted bodies of the nation-state for ultimate democratic and constitutional legitimation. In that regard, the concepts of delegation and mediated legitimacy remain essential to understanding the institutional development of European integration going forward. With an eye to the future, this chapter explores possible institutional innovations in the EU, notably the establishment of a European Conflicts Tribunal to rule on Kompetenz-Kompetenz disputes. The chapter then concludes with reflections on the sovereignty, the nation-state, and integration history.

Keywords:   delegation, polycentric constitutionalism, directly-deliberative polyarchy, democratic disconnect, democratic deficit, multilevel constitutionalism, legitimacy resources, deference, mediated legitimacy, Ernest Renan

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