Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 4 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 4 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Political Sociology of European Democracy

2 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 4 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker

3 3 The Democratic Deficit: Formal and Informal Aspects –Input democracy and output democracy –Civil society Introduction Governo Locale

4 4 Introduction Governo Locale

5 5 Case-study: Hungary Governo Locale Enlargement

6 6 Case-study: Hungary Background - Since early 2010, Hungary has a new government, dominated by the Fidesz party (centre-right), which overwhelmingly won the elections and holds a more than 2/3 majority in parliament; - The Fidesz has started a radical overhaul of the countrys democratic institutions, including a rewriting of the Hungarian constitution. Governo Locale Enlargement

7 7 Case-study: Hungary Background - Hungary has been consistently criticized for not living up to European values of democracy and the rule of law, not least by the EC and the Eur. Parliament, as well as by the Venice Commission - The Venice Commission found issues with almost all the rights and freedoms recognised under the fundamental law, and especially those left out: the omission of an explicit commitment to prohibiting the death penalty and forced labour is particularly glaring (Dupré, Guardian, 13 March 2012). Governo Locale Enlargement

8 8 Case-study: Hungary Background - Regarding the constitution-making process, the government has been criticized for: - the constitution has not been made in a democratic, participatory way; - not observing the rule of law (no democratic debate on the need for a new constitution); - the new Constitution is underspecified (the Fidesz government will define cardinal laws) - The constitution alters the political community (from people to nation) - The constitution is a majority constitution; - The constitution does not fully respect human rights (gay rights; minority rights); Governo Locale Enlargement

9 9 Case-study: Hungary Background - The EU has made three major decisions about Hungary: - The parliament has called on the country "to respect the basic values and standards of the EU", - The commission has threatened to suspend the allocation of substantial funding because of Hungary's excessive budget deficit, - The commission has begun what is called an "accelerated infringement procedure (art. 258). Governo Locale Enlargement

10 10 Case-study: Hungary Resolution EP: Calls on the European Commission as guardian of the Treaties to monitor closely the possible amendments and the implementation of the said laws and their compliance with the letter and spirit of the European Treaties and to conduct a thorough study to ensure: a. the full independence of the judiciary, in particular ensuring that the National Judicial Authority, the Prosecutors Office and the courts in general are governed free from political influence, and that the mandate of independently- appointed judges cannot be arbitrarily shortened; b. that the regulation of the Hungarian National Bank abides by European legislation; c. that the institutional independence of data protection and freedom of information is restored and guaranteed by the letter and the implementation of the relevant law; d. that the right of the Constitutional Court to review any legislation is fully restored, including the right to review budgetary and tax laws; e. that the freedom and pluralism of the media is guaranteed by the letter and the implementation of the Hungarian Media Law, especially with regard to the participation of civil and opposition representatives in the Media Council; f. that the new electoral law meets European democratic standards and respects the principle of political alternation; g. that the right to exercise political opposition in a democratic way is ensured both within and outside institutions; h. that the law on churches and religious denominations will respect the basic principles of the freedom of conscience and refrain from subjecting the registration of churches to the approval of a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian Parliament; Governo Locale Enlargement

11 11 Input and Output Democracy Introduction Governo Locale

12 12 Democracy without democracy? (Bellamy 2010) - The EU offers fertile ground for rethinking democracy and democratic practice; - The EU can be seen as an unidentified political object in which experimentation with new political forms is on-going (Convention- method, OMC, Citizens Initiative). Democracy Governo Locale

13 13 Democracy without democracy? - Rethinking democracy is particularly important today as standard, national Schumpeterian democracy is threatened by: - declining party membership; - bankruptcy of political parties; - declining voter turnout; - individualisation/consumer citizen/decline of the public interest Democracy Governo Locale

14 14 Democracy without democracy? Democracy Governo Locale

15 15 Democracy without democracy? (Bellamy 2010) - Schumpeterian democracy: an elitist-institutional characterization of democracy, where the emphasis is on an understanding of individual freedom as the existence of a sphere of individual self- government (Schumpeter 1974: 271), while the democratic method is seen as based on elite competition for popular votes, and civic participation is limited to voting for leadership or representatives Enlargement Governo Locale

16 16 Democracy without democracy? EU democracy - The EU has become a veritable laboratory of new modes of democratic governance (governance, Open Method of Coordination, Citizens Initiative); - The EU is however more concerned with output considerations with regard to democratic governance, rather than input considerations. Enlargement Governo Locale

17 17 Democracy without democracy? - Democracy on the European level often takes a guise of output democracy; - Input-oriented legitimacy: government by the people, citizens set the rules to which they abide - Output-oriented legitimacy: government for the people, management needs to be efficient and policy objectives met Governo Locale Democracy

18 18 Democracy without democracy? EU democracy - According to Fritz Scharpf, input democracy does not mean that the people cannot do wrong - Rather, input democracy auspicates that policy inputs emerge from public debates that are attempts to verify the truth in public reason; - Input is thus as much about participation as it is about finding some sort of consensus or general will; - But such a consensus is only likely to emerge in the context of a demos with a shared cultural identity. Governo Locale Democracy

19 19 Democracy without democracy? EU democracy - Input democracy on the EU level would need a shared cultural outlook, shared solidarity or trust, and historically grown and accepted institutions by the European citizens (cf. Offe; Grimm); - Output democracy on the EU level would seem the only possibility at the moment, in the absence of a European demos. Output democracy is about regulatory politics which can be administered with democratically based politics. Governo Locale Democracy

20 20 Democracy without democracy? EU democracy - On the EU level, according among others to Scharpf, only a narrow range of political problems is to be dealt with, that is, policies which do not involve far-going redistribution of wealth but rather deal with technical issues (standardization, convergence, market liberalization, austerity) Governo Locale Democracy

21 21 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - An example of such output democracy is the EU integration project as a project of market-making; - The Single Market was initiated by the European Commission, and importantly furthered by the European Court of Justice; - The idea behind the European Single Market is that the regulation and expansion of the four freedoms is by definition good for the larger EU, and hence for European society as such. Governo Locale Democracy

22 22 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy - But the emphasis – according to Richard Bellamy – in Scharpfs view of input democracy might be wrong. - Democratic politics on the EU level is not impossible: it is not so much consensus arising from mind-like persons (sharing cultural values and identity) that is important in input democracy, it is that all participants are seen and treated as responsible agents. Governo Locale Democracy

23 23 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy - Three aspects are important to democracy: 1. political equality; 2. the reasonableness of political disagreement; 3. the accountability of politicians and their responsiveness to public interest. - All these aspects point to the importance of input for democracy. Governo Locale Democracy

24 24 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy 1. political equality - the democratic process should accord each person equal standing as an autonomous reasoner about collective life Governo Locale Democracy

25 25 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy 2. the reasonableness of political disagreement - reasonable political disagreement is part of democracy; - disagreement arises out of ideological divisions that reflect reasonable sets of ideas; - disagreement is based on the burdens of judgment (Rawls): complexity and difficulties in public reasoning Governo Locale Democracy

26 26 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy 3. the accountability of politicians and their responsiveness to public interest - mechanisms to encourage rulers to consult the ruled regularly are necessary to make that citizens with different views on the common are heard and treated with equal respect; Governo Locale Democracy

27 27 Democracy without democracy? Input democracy To sum up, input legitimacy is based on persons being included in the decision-making process, in which their views are treated on a par with everyones elses, and in which they do not feel permanently excluded (Bellamy 2010: 5). Governo Locale Democracy

28 28 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - In the words of Scharpf, output democratic legitimacy is collectively binding decisions that serve the common interests of the constituency (1999); - Political decisions can be differentiated into redistributive decisions and regulatory decisions. Governo Locale Democracy

29 29 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - Two arguments are relevant: a. non-majoritarian: political decisions can be differentiated in two types: those that need a democratic majority decision and those that need not (democracy is unnecessary and hinders efficiency); b. counter-majoritarian: the correction of distortion of input processes on behalf of minorities. Governo Locale Democracy

30 30 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy a. non-majoritarian: European Court of Justice, European Central Bank, standard-setting bodies; b. counter-majoritarian: ECJ, co-decision procedures, consensual or qualified majority voting. Governo Locale Democracy

31 31 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - Standard democratic input is distorted by two phenomena (Pettit 2004): 1. false positives – too much attention to unrepresentative groups, or misperceptions or misrepresentations of what public valuation supports; in particular, the misidentification of policies that are prompted only by factional or sectional interest as initiatives that enjoy the support of such valuation (Pettit 2004); Governo Locale Democracy

32 32 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - Standard democratic input is distorted by two phenomena (Pettit 2004): 2. false negatives – the exclusion of minority views from the agenda or failures to perceive options that public valuation would support (Pettit 2004) Governo Locale Democracy

33 33 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy a. non-majoritarian: attempt to correct false positives, that is, an attempt to make policy-making follow the general interest rather than that of distinct groups. b. counter-majoritarian: attempt to correct false negatives, that is, an attempt to make sure that the voice of sizeable and consistent minorities is taken into account. Governo Locale Democracy

34 34 Democracy without democracy? Output democracy - non-majoritarian approaches include: - deliberation among experts (e.g. Constitutional courts, Open Method of Coordination), and - direct deliberative democracy among the people (deliverative fora, referenda); - counter-majoritarian approaches include: - consensus or supermajorities (co-decision making); - litigation (individual complaints). Governo Locale Democracy

35 35 Democracy without democracy? Summing up - Output democracy might be seen as insufficient for the emerging European Polity; - Input democracy might not be irrelevant, if the strong version of a European demos is dropped and EU democracy is understood as taking place on various levels; - Bellamy suggests to enhance national electorates and parliaments control on EU issues. Governo Locale Democracy

36 36 -..; - On 1 April 2012, the Citizens Initiative was launched by the EC; - Some argue that the European Union became more democratic; - EU citizens can call on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal; Enlargement Governo Locale

37 37 -..; - The European Citizens Initative (ECI) represents undeniable progress; - At the same time, there is very little interest in the ECI from the media; Governo Locale Democracy

38 38 -..; - Moreover, there are many hurdles: for a proposal to be valid, it must transcend borders, national issues and political and cultural differences; - It remains to be seen whether: 1) citizens will mobilize, and 2) how the EC will react. Governo Locale Democracy

39 39 -..; - But initiatives are stock-piling: They range from the very specific - legalising gay marriage throughout the European Union and creating a European anti-obesity day to the more general - on disability rights and making education more European. Governo Locale Democracy

Download ppt "A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 4 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google