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Understanding the Crisis Symptoms of Representative Democracy: The New European Economic Governance and France's ‘Political Crisis’

  • Julia Lux (a1)

This article will investigate the ‘political crisis’ in France (Amable, 2017) to highlight two aspects often set aside in public and academic discussions: 1) the technocratic, neoliberal character of the European Union (EU) that limits democratic debate about political economic issues and 2) the socio-economic context the parties operate in. Using this perspective, I add to the debate on the inherent theoretical/conceptual tension between representative democracy and populism (Taggart, 2002) by showing how the ‘new economic governance’ increases the democratic problems of the EU by limiting the discursive space. Representative liberal democracy has particularly marginalised anti-capitalism at EU and national level. My analysis shows that the EU's discursive strategies are aligned to those of governing parties and the employers’ association. Left-wing actors and the Front National (FN) oppose the EU's discourse not necessarily for reasons of sovereignty but for political reasons concerning the politico-economic trajectory of France.

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
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