|Title / Titel||Designing Demoicracy in the European Union|
|Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)|
|Summary / Zusammenfassung||Our project aims to advance the study of ‘demoicracy’ significantly by describing, explaining, and evaluating the design and workings of those EU institutions that can be seen as demoicratic prototypes. Put briefly, demoicracy starts from the principles that the ‘sovereignty of the people’ in a democratic multinational polity is the joint sovereignty of citizens and communities (demoi) realized through interlinked procedures and multiple participations of citizens. In principle, political equality applies to both citizens and communities amongst each other and to the relationship between the collective of citizens and the collective of demoi. Any departure from this fundamental political equality is possible but carries the burden of approval. Neither are the multiple demoi subordinated to some kind of cosmopolitan people, nor are the rights of citizens limited to their community but are extended supranationally to the multinational polity and transnationally to other communities.
In the EU, these principles are at least rudimentarily embodied in a variety of constitutional rules and institutions. First, the legal orders of the member states and the Community are parallel and overlapping orders rather than hierarchically nested ones. The same is true for the courts that are at the apex of these legal orders. Second, citizens enjoy citizenship and human, civil, and political rights as both EU and member state citizens. Third, citizens are directly represented in national parliaments as well as the European Parliament, whereas communities are mainly represented by national governments in the Council. The rules of the EU provide for co-legislation of Council and Parliament in most cases and for the overrepresentation of smaller communities. Consequently, the multi-level system of rights (review) and the multi-level parliamentary system will be two cases studied in our project. In addition, Bohman suggests that the EU’s intricate system of policy coordination through committees and agencies also has demoicratic quality (2007a; 2007b). These non-majoritarian institutions and their democratic accountability, transparency and participatory qualities will therefore constitute the third empirical case.
For each of the three systems, we strive to answer the following research questions:
1. Which institutional designs are appropriate for a democratic EU (normative justification)?
2. Which institutions have developed in the EU and how do they work (description)?
3. How have these institutions developed, and why do they work as they do (explanation)?
4. How democratic are these institutions (normative assessment)?
The project will focus on theory development rather than the testing of well-established hypotheses. The following propositions should therefore be seen as starting points and guidelines for answering the research questions. Also note that the different nature of the research questions requires different – normative and causal – hypotheses and theoretical operations.
|Keywords / Suchbegriffe||European Union, democratic theory, legitimacy, European Council, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, normative political theory|
|Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
|Funding source(s) /
|SNF (Programm NFS/NCCR)
|In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
|Duration of Project / Projektdauer||Jan 2006 to Sep 2013|