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The Unfinished Democratization of Europe$
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Erik O. Eriksen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.001.0001

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Parliamentary Democracy without a Demos

Parliamentary Democracy without a Demos

(p.216) Chapter 10 Parliamentary Democracy without a Demos
The Unfinished Democratization of Europe

Erik O. Eriksen

Oxford University Press

This last chapter addresses the puzzle of why parliamentary democracy has become the legitimacy standard for the EU when there is no demos. We witness a development from a situation in which democracy served as a guiding norm for national systems only, to one where democracy has become an increasingly relevant standard also for evaluating the EU. Following its empowerment, the European Parliament, together with national parliaments, is part of a European multi‐level parliamentary field. But why has the reform process taken the form of support for a parliamentarian model of representative democracy when central conditions for it to work properly are not in place? The solution to the puzzle is sought in the normative thrust of the parliamentary principle as the main embodiment of popular rule. But the lingering question is whether there can be democracy based on an empowered parliament without a political community.

Keywords:   European Union, democratization, representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, European Parliament, popular rule, political community, multi‐level parliamentary field

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