6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
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Cluster 5:
Democracy Task Force
Task Force completed

The Democracy and Legitimacy Task Force provided a series of normative analyses of the problems of legitimacy in the EU in the light of the more empirical research conducted by the other partners in the Integrated Project.

The main objectives were:

- To assess in what precise senses multi-level and new modes of governance change and/or undermine traditional forms of normative legitimacy, especially democratic legitimacy.

- To provide a rigorous analysis of the democratic and legitimacy deficits, by assessing the varieties of symptoms, diagnoses, prognoses, and cures as identified in the political and scholarly debate.

- To assess whether the emergence and consolidation of new modes of governance may contribute to the reconfiguration, enhancement, and perhaps replacement of traditional mechanisms of democratic legitimacy.

- To contribute to assessing the reconfiguration of legitimacy by looking at the place and role of the new modes of governance within the more general contexts provided by the principle of subsidiarity, by multi-level governance, human rights, federal or quasi-federal structures, and by civil society involvement. The Democracy task Force particularly considered the more specific traditional mechanisms of democratic legitimacy: preference formation, representation, responsiveness, accountability and participation, operating in and through the new modes of governance themselves.

During the first half of the three year project, the Democracy and Legitimacy Task Force focussed on working out its own positions, drawing on other teams where appropriate.

During the second half of the project this Task Force collaborated with other groups in the NEWGOV project, in particularly those working in Cluster 2, with the aim inter alia of producing a collaborative volume (forthcoming).

As part of its work, the researchers involved in the Task Force employed the standard methods of normative political theory, including conceptual clarification, the analysis of patterns of argument and the location of political values within traditions of theorising. They also explored the empirical basis of competing value positions in existing EU arrangements and other political systems, while, in collaboration with other projects, drawing out the institutional implications of certain key theoretical arguments



Page updated: 9/12/08

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