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The Unfinished Democratization of Europe$
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Erik O. Eriksen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.001.0001

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Democratic Legitimacy Through Deliberation?

Democratic Legitimacy Through Deliberation?

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Democratic Legitimacy Through Deliberation?
Source:
The Unfinished Democratization of Europe
Author(s):

Erik O. Eriksen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.003.0003

This chapter enquires into what model of deliberative democracy can account for post-national legitimacy. This has to do with the relationship between an epistemic and a participatory account of democratic legitimacy. The question is whether the quality of the debate and rational and fair outcomes bear the burden of legitimation, or if the political process based on equal rights, including universal suffrage, elections, majority vote, representation and the like, is the main constituent of democratic legitimacy. It is contended that legitimacy requires institutions and that government or the state is an enabling condition for justice. Thus, it is argued, what is needed is an alternative conception of democratic legitimacy, based on the notion of a working agreement.

Keywords:   European Union, democratic legitimacy, deliberative democracy, working agreement, rational consensus, epistemic deliberation

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