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Democracy in EuropeThe EU and National Polities$
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Vivien A. Schmidt

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266975.001.0001

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Theorizing Democracy in Europe

Theorizing Democracy in Europe

(p.219) 5 Theorizing Democracy in Europe
Democracy in Europe

Vivien A. Schmidt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a brief recap of the argument about the EU as a regional state and the general question of its democratic legitimacy before considering, in turn, theories about the EU’s impact on national institutions, ideas, and discourse. It argues that European integration is at risk, not so much because of the institutional changes related to Europeanization, but because of the lack of new ideas and discourse that address those changes at the national level. Although the EU has had a greater impact on simple polities than on compound ones, both kinds of polities have nevertheless had to deal with EU-related changes in governance practices and challenges to traditional ideas about democracy. Moreover, even though simple polities may have an advantage with regard to addressing the issues through the communicative discourse, they have not used that ability to the fullest.

Keywords:   EU, regional state, national institutions, democratic legitimacy, Europeanization, institutional fit, discourse

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