Governance and Democratic Legitimacy: The European Union’s Crisis of De-Politicisation

  • Natalie J. Doyle


The European Union (EU) is essentially defined by allegiance to common juridical norms. Its creation by a group of European nation-states gave a novel institutional form to trends evident since the 1980s in all Western societies. These trends can be summarised as constituting a shift in the perception of democratic legitimacy, away from the notion of government and towards that of governance. This shift has been characterised by the abandonment of the central concern which used to define democracy — that of its establishment through the electoral process — in favour of the question of its procedural integrity. The principle of democratic sovereignty came to be diffused through a plurality of institutions ranging from statutory and regulatory institutions to constitutional courts, whose task is to ensure that governmental action is both effective and respectful of the individual rights defining contemporary pluralism.


European Union European Central Bank Global Financial Crisis Democratic Legitimacy Constitutional Court 
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© Natalie J. Doyle 2014

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  • Natalie J. Doyle

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