Structures of Justification

Jürgen Neyer

in The Justification of Europe

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641246
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745591 | DOI:
Structures of Justification

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Chapter Seven of the book reconstructs the legal and political practices of the European Union in the terms of the right to justification. The EU is reconceptualized as a transnational discourse among citizens, institutions, member-state governments, international bureaucracies and international courts characterized by a duty of rule-setting bodies to provide persuasive arguments justifying actions that impinge upon the freedom enjoyed by other parties. The non-coercive character of supranationalism plays an important role in fostering deliberative practices and thus encouraging the right to justification. The beneficial impact of supranationality on political interaction is illustrated by regarding its contribution to softening the structural self-referentiality of democracies, the asymmetric distribution of power among nation-states and executive dominance in European politics. In all three areas, supranational structures create a new opportunity for justice in that they make argumentative interaction more likely and require justifications of political acts.

Keywords: reconstruction; transnational discourse; power distribution; executive dominance; self-referentiality

Chapter.  15551 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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