Contentious European Democracy

Ulrike Liebert

in European Stories

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594627
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595738 | DOI:
Contentious European Democracy

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Ulrike Liebert analyses the dialectics of national intellectual discourses on Europe from the perspective of the controversial issue of democratic legitimacy. She scrutinises the contents of national intellectual contributions to this debate during the most recent phase of contentious debate over European political development, from 2001 to 2009. Liebert argues that European democracy debates oscillate between a communitarian vision that cherishes democracy in collectivist terms and a liberal vision that celebrates diversity, individual rights and legal constitutionalism. Echoing the normative triangle presented in the introduction, she then considers “European demoi-cracy” and “constestatory democracy” as innovative proposals that aim to square the circle of unity and diversity. Here, the third way is not between sovereigntists and supranationalists; rather, it is between both of these seen as communitarians on one hand, and the liberal tradition on the other.

Keywords: legitimacy; contestatory democracy; liberalism; Third Way; supranationalism

Chapter.  11309 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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