Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Europe’s Other Democratic Deficit: National Authoritarianism in Europe’s Democratic Union

Abstract

This article argues for a radical recasting of the European Union democratic deficit debate. Critics have long argued that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit and that growing EU power undermines national democracy. But recent backsliding on democracy and the rule of law in Hungary and Poland reminds us that grave democratic deficits can also exist at the national level in member states and that the EU may have a role in addressing them. This article will place the EU’s struggles with democratic deficits in its member states in comparative perspective, drawing on the experience of other democracies that have struggled with pockets of subnational authoritarianism. Comparative analysis suggests that considerations driven by partisan politics may allow local pockets of autocracy to persist within otherwise democratic political unions.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

R. Daniel Kelemen is Professor of Political Science and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics at Rutgers University. Contact email: dkelemen@polisci.rutgers.edu.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A. Benton (2012), ‘Bottom-Up Challenges to National Democracy’, Comparative Politics, 44(3): 253271.

N. Bermeo (2016), ‘On Democratic Backsliding’, Journal of Democracy, 27(1): 519.

B. Bugarič (2015), ‘A Crisis of Constitutional Democracy in Post-Communist Europe: “Lands In-Between” Democracy and Authoritarianism’, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13: 219245.

R.B. Chavez (2003), ‘The Construction of the Rule of Law in Argentina’, Comparative Politics, 35(4): 417437.

A. Føllesdal and S. Hix (2006), ‘Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 44: 533.

J. Fox (1994), ‘Latin America’s Emerging Local Politics’, Journal of Democracy, 5(2): 105116.

E. Gibson (2005), ‘Boundary Control: Subnational Authoritarianism in Democratic Countries’, World Politics, 58: 101132.

E. Gibson (2012), Boundary Control (New York: Cambridge University Press).

A. Giraudy (2015), Democrats and Autocrats: Pathways of Subnational Undemocratic Regime Continuity within Democratic Countries (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

C. Gervasoni (2010), ‘A Rentier Theory of Subnational Regimes’, World Politics, 62(2): 302340.

D. Grimm (1995), ‘Does Europe Need a Constitution?’, European Law Journal, 1(3): 282302.

J. Habermas (1995), ‘Remarks on Dieter Grimm’s “Does Europe Need a Constitution?”’, European Law Journal, 1(3): 303307.

D. Kochenov (2015), ‘Biting Intergovernmentalism’, The Hague Journal of the Rule of Law, 7: 153174.

D. Kochenov and L. Pech (2016), ‘Better Late than Never? On the Commission’s Rule of Law Framework and its First Activation’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 54(5): 10621074.

P. Levitz and G. Pop-Eleches (2010), ‘Why No Backsliding? The European Union’s Impact on Democracy and Governance Before and After Accession’, Comparative Political Studies, 43(4): 457485.

K. McMann (2006), Economic Autonomy and Democracy (New York: Cambridge University Press).

J.W. Müller (2013a), ‘Defending Democracy Within the EU’, Journal of Democracy, 24(2): 138–49.

K. Nicolaides (2013), ‘European Democracy and Its Crisis’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 51(2): 351369.

G. O’Donnell (1993), ‘On the State, Democratization and Some Conceptual Problems’, World Development, 21(8): 13551369.

V. Perju (2015), ‘The Romanian Double Executive and the 2012 Constitutional Crisis’, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13(1): 246278.

G. Pridham (2008), ‘The EU’s Political Conditionality and Post-Accession Tendencies: Comparisons from Slovakia and Latvia’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 46(2): 365387.

U. Sedelmeier (2014), ‘Anchoring Democracy from Above? The European Union and Democratic Backsliding in Hungary and Romania After Accession’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(1): 105121.

A.B. Spendzharova and M.A. Vachudova (2012), ‘Catching Up? Consolidating Liberal Democracy in Bulgaria and Romania after EU Accession’, West European Politics, 35(1): 3958.

J. Weiler (1995), ‘Does Europe Need a Constitution? Demos, Telos and the German Maastricht Decision’, European Law Journal, 1(3): 219258.

T. Zweifel (2002), ‘... Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone: The EU’s Democratic Deficit in Comparison’, Journal of European Public Policy, 9(5): 812840.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2475
Total number of PDF views: 1040 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2712 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 9th January 2017 - 23rd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.