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De-Mystification of Participatory Democracy: EU-Governance and Civil Society
     

De-Mystification of Participatory Democracy: EU-Governance and Civil Society

by Beate Kohler-Koch, Christine Quittkat
 

The democratic legitimacy of the European Union has become an increasingly urgent issue. In searching for a way out, academics, EU institutions, and political forces advocate the involvement of civil society. The Commission's new governance approach and the Lisbon Treaty introduced elements of participatory democracy and elevated civil society to a key actor in

Overview

The democratic legitimacy of the European Union has become an increasingly urgent issue. In searching for a way out, academics, EU institutions, and political forces advocate the involvement of civil society. The Commission's new governance approach and the Lisbon Treaty introduced elements of participatory democracy and elevated civil society to a key actor in democratizing the EU. Does this hold upon closer scrutiny? This is the main question of the book. It investigates how the promise of civil society participation is put into practice and, based on an elaborate theoretical framework, evaluates whether the political practice deserves the quality attribute 'participatory democracy'. The book presents the results of a large research project composed of several highly original empirical studies. The research team used various methodological approaches and generated a rich data set. The wealth of empirical insight is evaluated against clear criteria deduced from normative democratic theory. As key elements of the analyses - democracy, participation, and civil society - are contested concepts, the authors placed particular emphasize on clarifying their understanding of these concepts and on considering competing interpretations. By relying on a consistent theoretical approach the authors present an unusually balanced evaluation. They come to convincing, though rather skeptical conclusions. Civil society participation in EU governance is not the democratic remedy its advocates had hoped for. This may not be a welcome but nevertheless it is an important finding both for European decision-makers, for civil society organizations and for scholars.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199674596
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Beate Kohler-Koch, Professor Emeritus, project director MZES, University of Mannheim,Christine Quittkat, Post-doctoral Researcher, project director MZES, University of Mannheim

Beate Kohler-Koch, Professor Emeritus, University of Mannheim, is a project director at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES). She is an internationally leading researcher in the field of EU-Studies and has an excellent reputation for combining theory and empirical research always seeking to probe and to push the boundaries of analytical insights.

Christine Quittkat, post-doc, is a project director at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim. She is highly recognized as an expert in studies on European interest intermediation.

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