Representation through deliberation: The European case

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Series Details No.5, May 2011
Publication Date 2011
ISSN 1890- 7741
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This paper shows that the main pattern of European democratisation has unfolded along the lines of an EU organised as a multilevel system of representative parliamentary government and not as a system of deliberative governance as the transnationalists propound. But the multilevel EU has developed a structure of representation that is theoretically challenging. In order to come to grips with this we present an institutional variant of deliberative theory, which understands democracy as the combination of a principle of justification and an organisational form. It comes with the following explanatory mechanisms: claimsmaking, justification and learning which in the EU also program institutional copying and emulation mechanisms. We show that the EU has established an incomplete system of representative democracy steeped in a distinct representation-deliberation interface, which has emerged through a particular and distinct configuration of democratisation mechanisms.

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