EU Democratic Deficit(s) and Legitimacy; System Versus Sub-System Level
Despite theoretical work on the importance of civicity and representativeness for modern democracies, less has been done to connect research on interest groups and the democratic deficit of the EU. This chapter links democratic deficit frames with post-modern legitimacy conceptualizations. Different legitimacy demands (input, output) across the EU’s sub-systems lead to variation in the activity of interest groups (public, private) that supply it. Utilizing research on 4,000 interest groups from the Register of Interest Representatives, the analysis indicates that different frames of the democratic deficit apply across Directorate Generals (DGs). It appears that both under- and over-representation are taking place. If the EU is to improve its aggregate legitimacy then it must address multiple democratic deficits found across its DGs; by balancing the density and diversity of different types of interest groups clustering around them.
KeywordsEuropean Union Interest Group Public Interest Private Interest Policy Field
Many thanks to David Coen, Odysseas Katsaitis and Christine Reh for useful comments and discussions on the chapter.
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