Electoral Participation, Democracy, and Legitimacy in the European Union

Jean Blondel, Richard Sinnott and Palle Svensson

in People and Parliament in the European Union

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780198293088
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598814 | DOI:
 Electoral Participation, Democracy, and Legitimacy in the European Union

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Sets the context for this study of the relationship between people and parliament in the European Union and of the problem of participation in European Parliament elections by considering the meaning of the concepts of democracy and legitimacy as applied to the supranational level of governance. It goes on to examine the second‐order‐election model and concludes that assessment of the value of the model—as an account of the relationship between the citizens and the European Parliament, and as an explanation of turnout in European Parliament elections—depends on the outcome of detailed empirical research on the perceptions and attitudes of European citizens. The chapter provides a very brief overview of the literature on turnout, emphasizing the need to pay attention to both contextual and individual‐level variables. Finally, the chapter deals with methodological aspects of the study and describes the main features of the survey (Eurobarometer 41.1 (1994)) on which the study is based.

Keywords: abstention; citizens; democracy; election; Eurobarometer; European Parliament; legitimacy; participation; second‐order election; supranational governance; turnout

Chapter.  11539 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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