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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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A State‐less Government

A State‐less Government

(p.185) Chapter 9 A State‐less Government
The Unfinished Democratization of Europe

Erik O. Eriksen

Oxford University Press

What form of democracy is needed in the post‐national configuration? The EU is not a state and its power is limited. However, although the member states hold the means of legitimate violence in reserve, the EU has achieved competences and capabilities similar to authoritative government. The point of government is not state in its collectivistic, nationalistic reading, but democratic institutions. A non‐state entity can amount to government in so far as it performs the functions of authorized jurisdictions. In line with this, the Union can be considered as a state‐less government that finds part of its justification as a regional subset of a larger cosmopolitan order. The legitimacy requirement of such a governmental order must be different from that of a fully authorized power‐wielding polity. Nevertheless, due to the democratic deficit, it is not possible to establish the conditions under which a process of public justification is deemed legitimate.

Keywords:   European Union, post‐national democracy, state‐less government, regional subset of cosmopolitan order, democratic deficit, public justification, globalization, cosmopolitanism

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