Introduction: The representative turn in EU Studies

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


In everyday discourse, democracy has become associated with representation. Western-style political systems today are generally categorized as representative democracies, as is the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon declares the EU to be founded on representative democracy, with political equality as its normative foundation. However, contemporary processes of diversification, not least that of European integration, pose severe challenges to the historically contingent link between democracy and representation. Consequently, many scholars indicate a democratic deficit in the EU, which the current debt crisis has accentuated even further. This introduction takes stock of recent theoretical debates and identifies three key issues which it then links to the contributions to this collection: namely, (1) a decisive shift in the understanding of the representative relationship; (2) an increased attention to non-electoral representation, specifically civil society (organizations); and (3) the debate about whether democratic competences are best located at the supranational or the national level. We close by reflecting on potential future avenues for research.
ZeitschriftJournal of European Public Policy
Seiten (von - bis)155-170
Anzahl der Seiten16
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.02.2013

Bibliographische Notiz

Special Issue: The representative turn in EU studies