European polity: layers of legitimacy
Title: European polity: layers of legitimacy
Author: TAMVAKI, Dionysia D.
Citation: International social science journal, 2009, 60, 2, 235-251
Transferring the legitimacy or illegitimacy debate away from national discourse to the supranational agenda of the European Union (EU) requires a theoretical re-invention of legitimacy so that it meets the normative standards of the ever-enlarging European polity. After providing a taxonomy of legitimacy, this article reviews scholarly attempts to devise conceptual tools that smooth its transition from the familiar state level to the uncharted supranational level. Inter-governmentalism, federalism and multilevel governance are the theoretical postulates revisited. Evading the temptation to apply state-loaded legitimation criteria to a 'polity in formation', this study opts for a multilevel model. The latter is helpful in framing the multilayered legitimacy dilemmas stemming from the expansion of the EU into new territorial units, further functional tasks and additional loci of authority.
Subject: European Union; Governance; Federalism; Legitimation; Legitimacy; Discourse; Political structure; Supranationalism; Conceptualization; Europe
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