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Documents: Democracy Task Force
 

New Governance and Public Reasoning –Towards a Better Quality of EU Deliberation
Albert Weale
NEWGOV Policy Brief no. 19, Spring 2008
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The Legitimacy Challenges for New Modes of Governance: Trustworthy Responsiveness
Andreas Føllesdal
The literature remains divided about whether, and if so how and to what extent, New Modes of Governance enjoy normative legitimacy and even confer it to the EU. This paper lays out some of the central normative concerns and indicates some of the relevant findings. The aim is neither to provide a comprehensive overview of the normative and empirical literatures, nor to critize them. Instead, these reflections only sketch one framework for how such work may later move forward.
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On accountability and legitimacy in the EU: Facing the issue of Assurance
Andreas Føllesdal
This report lays out a unified account of the complex and confusing relationship between legitimacy, democracy and accountability. The reasons we have to value accountability mechanisms and democratic arrangements also lend support to some modes of accountability that lack strong enforcement mechanisms or ultimate electoral accountability, and that all of these forms may further the normative legitimacy of a political order. They may help address the manifold needs of assurance among citizens regarded as ‘contingent compliers,’ - willing to do their share in just schemes, if they are assured that others act likewise. This general perspective is brought to bear on some salient features of the ‘Constitutional Treaty’ of the European Union that might have enhanced the normative legitimacy of the EU: Democratic accountability of EU bodies toward European and national parliaments, accountability for subsidiarity toward national parliaments; and accountability of national and EU bodies to international courts with regard to human rights. Such accountability mechanisms, democratic and otherwise, may assure citizens that the institutions and offices satisfy the appropriate standards of legitimacy, and that most other citizens and officials actually do their share.
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Forms of control and accountability in the politics of delegation
Dario Castiglione
This reports analyses the way in which the development of ‘new modes of governance,’ particularly in the form of ‘guardian’ institutions and networks governance, poses a problem for democratic accountability. This more informal, non-hierarchical and ‘private’ forms of governance can be justified in a variety of ways, on the basis of the fact that they seem to be better adapted to meet some of the standards of good governance that the demands of a complex society requires. However, their multilevel nature makes it more difficult for the traditional forms of democratic control and accountability to operate. Besides analyzing the reasons underlying the legitimacy of non-democratic forms of decision making, this report suggests that it may, however, be possible to maintain a balance between non-democratic and democratic decision making in our societies, so to counteract some of the elitist tendencies intrinsic to some of the new forms of governance and regulation that rely on experts rather than popular voice and control. This is possible by analysing the way in which guardian institutions and networks of governance operate, either within or outside the political system, and by devising a series of mechanisms of horizontal and vertical control, and checks and balance, so to keep a democratic presence in the social and political process of decision making.
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Political delegation and democratic representation
Dario Castiglione
The central idea of this report is that without a supporting structure of democratic representation, the delegation of decision-making and controlling powers to expert-based agencies and regulators, and the reliance on private sectors’ self-regulation lack democratic legitimacy. Efficiency is not a substitute for legitimacy, but part of it. In terms of democratic legitimacy, the system of representation offers a holistic framework within which to embed mechanisms of democratic authorization, control, and accountability over all forms of guardianship and delegated powers in democracy. The report offers a general account of the transformations affecting the ideas and institutions of democratic representation and accountability in modern politics. It suggests that NMGs and the delegation of power to non-majoritarian institutions are part of such new ecology of democratic representation and accountability. However, the idea of public interest and of the relationship between principal and agent that underlies the politics of delegation is considerably different from that of traditional forms of democratic and electoral-based representation. The report concludes by suggesting that new institutional forms and mechanisms need to be found to bring NMGs under the shadow of democratic legitimacy.
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Between Past and Future: The Democratic Potential of EU Citizenship
Richard Bellamy
EU citizenship has been viewed as the basis for both ‘old’ forms of citizenship, whereby the Union might be democratised in a parallel manner to the Member States, and the creation of ‘new’ forms of citizenship, that could serve people’s interest in expert, efficient, equitable government without employing the standard mechanisms of democratic accountability to achieve them. This paper argues that the prospects for establishing the ‘old’ forms are weak, and that the ‘new’ are in themselves inadequate. Two conclusions follow. First, there is a trade-off between the benefits the EU brings and democracy, suggesting there are democratic limits to the EU. Second, what democratic legitimacy the EU can claim comes from the scrutiny of EU policy within the established democracies of the Member States. To democratise the EU, therefore, we need to domesticate it and make the EU part of the national political agenda. The article has been published in R. Bellamy, D. Castiglione and J. Shaw (eds) Making European Citizens: Strategies of Civic Inclusion in European Civil Society (Palgrave, 2006), pp. 238-65.
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The Normative Logic of Two-Level Games and the European Union
Deborah Savage and Albert Weale
A currently influential account of international diplomatic negotiation construes such negotiations in terms of the logic of two-level games. We explore the normative logic of such games, in terms of the obligations of fairness that diplomatic representatives owe to one another and the obligations of accountability that they owe to their constituents. The logic in both its empirical and normative interpretations can be applied to the European Council budget negotiations of December 2005. By exploring the varying conceptions of representation at play in these negotiations, we seek to provide an account of how the resulting bargain may be evaluated. We also claim that such an account also enables us to understand how inter-governmental negotiation may be a forum of democratic accountability, whilst not committing us to a particular empirical account of European integration.
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Some Principles of Task-Assignment in A Multi-Level Polity
Albert Weale
The problem of task-assignment, ineliminable in any moderately complex polity, is to determine the normative justifiable principles upon which the functions of government should be allocated to different levels. This paper reviews three approaches to this problem in the literature drawn from political theory. The first is pure proceduralism; the second the principle of subsidiarity; and the third the principle of functional competence. It is argued that there are problems involved in the first two. Proceduralism cannot stand on its own, and subsidiarity contains a bias to the near that it is difficult to defend. Functionality can be politically controversial to apply. None of the principles can be regarded as logically equivalent to one another, and democratic reflexivity suggests that all will be contested.
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Democratic Values, Political Legitimacy and European Governance
Albert Weale
What are the implications of new governance in terms of normative democratic theory? To answer this question, we need to distinguish between democratic values and the institutions that are claimed to embody democratic values. Democratic values include a concern for common or public interests, political equality and an acknowledgement of fallibility in decision making. Party systems in member states of the European Union can make a claim to have embodied these values to some degree, particularly the extent to which party competition provided an incentive to focus on issues of common public concern. However, those party systems operated under a specific set of conditions, including an unusual nationalisation of policy responsibilities. Where policy concerns are international and issues involve the need for functional representation outside of the confines of party competition, then new governance arrangements may meet the standards of democratic legitimacy. However, an adequate normative theory will still want to insist that criteria of fair representation and processes of deliberative accountability are imposed on the EU’s system of governance. This paper will be appearing in Carlo Ruzza and Vincent della Sala, Governance and Civil Society (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming).
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Still in Deficit: Rights, Regulation and Democracy in the EU
Richard Bellamy
Critics of the EU's democratic deficit standardly attribute the problem to either socio-cultural reasons, principally the lack of demos and public sphere, or institutional factors, notably the lack of electoral accountability due to the limited ability of the European parliament to legislate and control the executive powers of the Commission and the Council of Ministers. Recently two groups of theorists have argued neither deficit need prove problematic. The first adopt a rights-based view of democracy and claim a European consensus on rights, as represented by the Charter of Fundamental European Rights, can offer the basis of citizen allegiance to EU wide democracy, thereby overcoming the demos deficit. The second adopt a public-interest view of democracy and argue that so long as delegated authorities enact policies that are 'for' the people, then the absence of institutional forms that facilitate democracy 'by' the people are likewise unnecessary - indeed, in certain areas they may be positively harmful. This paper argues both arguments are normatively and empirically flawed. For no consensus on rights or the public interest exists apart from the majority view of a demos secured through parliamentary institutions. To the extent these remain absent at the EU level a democratic deficit continues to exist. Forthcoming in the European Law Journal.
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The Seven Habits of Highly Legitimate New Modes of Governance
Andreas Follesdal
How might ‘New Modes of Governance’ in the European Union be made more legitimate? The following reflections suggest seven ways to enhance the legitimacy of ‘New Modes of Governance’ and hence the legitimacy of the EU. The remarks explore the contested concept of ‘legitimacy’ and its implications. Among the important issues that must be addressed with regard to NMG are, first, whether they are meant to replace democratic arrangements, or instead be subject to democratic control and if so how; and, second how, if at all, they are regulated by human rights constraints, and how such constraints will be visible and trustworthy. Section 1 presents an overview of the wide-ranging discussions of the legitimacy deficit of the EU, with an eye to extrapolate some insights to NMG. Section 2 sketches a unifying account of normative legitimacy that draws on the "assurance game" literature. Long-term support for the EU requires not only present compliance and support, but also long term trust in the general compliance of others - both citizens and officials - and shared acceptance of the legality and normative legitimacy of the regime. Suggestions for enhancing legitimacy of the EU - and of NMG - may best be assessed in light of how they jointly can contribute to such trustworthiness. Section 3 points to seven areas where NMG should be modified or supplemented to further enhance trust and trustworthiness in the EU, and hence its legitimacy. Democratic arrangements are discussed for illustration. The paper was presented at the NEWGOV Consortium Conference in Florrence, May 2005 and will feed into the working paper "The Legitimacy Deficits of the European Union".
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The Values of Citizenship: Belonging, Rights and Participation
Richard Bellamy
to appear in: Miriam Aziz and Susan Millns (eds), Values in the Constitution of Europe, Dartmouth, 2005 (forthcoming).
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Between Past and Future: The Democratic Potential of EU Citizenship
Richard Bellamy
Forthcoming in Richard Bellamy, Dario Castiglione and Jo Shaw(eds) Making European Citizens: Strategies of Civic Inclusion in Pan-European Civil Society (Palgrave, 2005).
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