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Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress$
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Olaf Cramme and Sara B. Hobolt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724483.001.0001

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The Need for Legitimate Opposition and Protectionism

The Need for Legitimate Opposition and Protectionism

(p.236) 13 The Need for Legitimate Opposition and Protectionism
Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress

Sverker Gustavsson

Oxford University Press

Rescuing democratic capitalism and rescuing the European Union are two sides of the same coin. If the project is to succeed, we will have to make a clearer distinction than hitherto between demands for economic and for political liberalism. Prioritizing democracy to the same extent as capitalism, however, will involve more than just developing a political problem-solving capacity. It will also mean defending the space for opposition, as well as protecting the different national varieties of capitalism as legitimate expressions of political liberalism. We will need an element of informality as to the vertical conflict of law. A ‘living’ constitution, in this regard, will be critical for our ability to pursue a democratic reformist approach to the rescue operation, and to avoid falling into either authoritarianism or utopian maximalism.

Keywords:   problem-solving capacity, legitimate opposition, legitimate protectionism, democratic reformism, living constitution

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