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Democracy in the European Union


Democracy in the European Union

Towards the Emergence of a Public Sphere

The process of European integration has given rise to a new object of study – European society. Several old questions concerning citizenship, democracy, government and institutions must be raised anew, this time at the European level. These are not only academic issues, but also major political concerns at European and member state level.

There are concerns that transfers of power to European institutions produce a characteristically new and worrying form of democratic ‘deficit’. The rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands suggests that this democratic deficit is beginning to impact on the European Union’s legitimacy, further endangering the European project of ‘ever closer union’.

How can this crisis be overcome and in which direction should the European Union be moving? This volume:

  • Takes a closer look at the Union's democratic deficit in an effort to establish its precise character and location. 
  • Scrutinizes top-down institutional opportunity structures for participation, the actors that are shaping bottom-up mobilization, as well as the ideologies and discourses that are informing attempts to generalize political claims beyond the national level. 
  • Provides a detailed insight into the scope and character of participatory practice in decision-making, the structure and visions of the European political class, the role of civil society organization and trans-national movements.
  • Looks at the debate on the EU as a community of values as well as the views about Europe in the new member states.

This book is available at Routledge for the price of US$ 54.95,-.

The publication is a result of the project European Public Space Observatory - EUROPUB sponsored by the European Commission, DG Research.


Giorgi, Liana; Ingmar von Homeyer and Wayne Parsons (eds.) 2007: Democracy in the European Union. Towards the emergence of a public sphere. Routledge Advances in European Politics. Oxon/New York: Routledge.

Liana Giorgi
Wayne Parsons
Published In
Series: Routledge Advances in European Politics , 39
232 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction: the political sociology of the European public sphere – John Crowley und Liana Giorgi
2 Democratization and the European Union – Liana Giorgi
3 Participatory governance in the European Union – Ingmar von Homeyer
4 The emergence of a European political class – Elise Feron, John Crowley und Liana Giorgi
5 The anti-globalization movement and the European agenda – Elise Feron
6 The European Union as a Community of Values – Liana Giorgi, Niki Rodousakis, Marisol Garcia und Martin Peterson
7 EU accession and the public sphere in new member states: the case of the Czech Republic – Michal Illner, Daniel ?ermák, Tomáš Kostelecký und Jana Stachová
8 Conclusion: what future for European integration and democracy? – Wayne Parsons


Democracy, Democratic Deficit, Public participation, Public, Society, Democratic Theory, Legitimacy, EU, Europe