Autonomy Versus Arbitrary Rule

  • Erik O. EriksenEmail author


This chapter establishes a normative template for identifying pathological forms of differentiation. It outlines some features of political differentiation, before it discusses the moral value of deliberation as the basis for popular sovereignty and political autonomy. A democratic standard based on constitutional essentials is presented as a way to assess the systemic effects of differentiation. However, non-normative analytical categories are also needed to analyse the present state of ‘irregular affairs’. The chapter adds a set of middle-range categories adapted from sociology and international relations theory; the concept of segmentation grasps the effects of vertical differentiation, while hegemony grasps the effects of horizontal differentiation. Lastly, the chapter examines the dimensions of dominance and specifies the criterion according to which democratic problems can be discerned.


Autonomy Dominance Deliberation Democracy Segmentation Hegemony Loose couplings 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARENA Centre for European StudiesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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