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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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Politicizing Europe

Politicizing Europe

The Challenge of Executive Discretion

Chapter:
(p.87) 5 Politicizing Europe
Source:
Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress
Author(s):

Jonathan White

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724483.003.0005

Political decision-making in the Euro crisis has relied heavily on executive discretion, exercised at speed and rationalized with reference to the pressing demands of emergency. This chapter explores the challenges raised for political opposition, notably challenges of a temporal kind. With its deviations from policy and procedural norms, discretionary politics tends towards a politics without rhythm, leading to major asymmetries between decision-makers and voices of opposition. These centre on issues of timing and the ability to identify authorship and content of decisions. Such asymmetries arguably correspond to an underlying one between the temporality of political decision-making and of contemporary finance capitalism, with agents of the former increasingly inclined to pursue ‘fast policy’ as a means to keep pace. A democratic response is likely to involve strengthening and synchronizing the rhythms of parliamentary politics, as well as being receptive to forms of opposition less reliant on the rhythms that discretion subverts.

Keywords:   politicization, democracy, time, executive power, European Union

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