Introduction: The representative turn in EU studies

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksContributions to collected editions/anthologiesResearchpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe representative turn in EU studies
EditorsSandra Kröger, Dawid Friedrich
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Publication date13.08.2013
ISBN (Print)9780415836029
ISBN (Electronic)9781134927456, 9781134927388
Publication statusPublished - 13.08.2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright der Printausgabe 2014, Erscheinungsjahr eBook 2016.