The EU has been heavily criticised for its democratic deficit.2 In the light of this deficit, critical scholars draw parallels between the EU and what Nicos Poulantzas calls “authoritarian statism”, and have made his state theory fruitful for analysing the European integration process. Lukas Oberndorfer describes the institutional form of the EU as “authoritarian constitutionalism” (Oberndorfer, 2014). This account of the EU emphasises the increase in the discretionary power of the European executive, or what Poulantzas describes as
[an] intensified state control over every sphere of socio-economic life combined with radical decline of the institutions of political democracy. (emphasis in the original, Poulantzas  2000: 203)
- Labour Market
- Migrant Worker
- Social Bond
- Current Crisis
- Social Body
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I wish to thank Bob Jessop, Poul F. Kjaer and Tim Holst Celik for their extremely helpful comments on previous versions of this chapter. The usual disclaimer applies. This chapter was developed with the support of the European Research Council within the project “Institutional Transformation in European Political Economy — A Socio-Legal Approach”, ITEPE-312331 — www.itepe.eu.
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© 2015 Eva Hartmann
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Hartmann, E. (2015). European Social Policy: Social Cohesion through Competition?. In: Hartmann, E., Kjaer, P.F. (eds) The Evolution of Intermediary Institutions in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137484529_8
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