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The European Union and the People$
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Mette Elise Jolly

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213078.001.0001

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The demos

The demos

Chapter:
(p.61) 3 The demos
Source:
The European Union and the People
Author(s):

Mette Elise Jolly

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213078.003.0003

This chapter opens with a theoretical analysis of the concept of democracy with the emphasis on two questions, ‘What does it mean to rule?’ and ‘Who are the people?’ Whilst the introduction of EU citizenship has created a demos in legal terms it is argued that this demos has no social side because the European civic atmosphere continues to be characterized by relatively low levels of transnational solidarity and identification. In other words, technically there may be a European demos but it is only a demos ‘on paper’. On the basis of the discussion, it is concluded that it makes sense to distinguish between two sides of the social demos, the ethno-cultural side (history, language, political habits, ethnicity, and religion) and the subjective-emotional side (personal feelings of identity and solidarity). Although the former is often seen as a prerequisite for the latter, it may be possible to identify common values or wishes across European states, which can justify some level of supranational EU government.

Keywords:   democratic theory, legitimacy, rule, people, identity, governance vs. government, citizenship, rights, solidarity

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