The power of reason(s) : argumentative rationality and EU regulation
Title: The power of reason(s) : argumentative rationality and EU regulation
Author: PASKALEV, Vesco
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2013
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
The present thesis studies the dynamics of reasoning in the public sphere with the aim to offer a novel way to justify public authority, especially under conditions of broad administrative discretion, and to provide criteria to evaluate the legitimacy of such decisions. The main normative claim I defend is that decisions are justified when they are premised on appropriate reasons, so in the process of rule-making the stated reasons of the authorities (and of participating citizens or organisations) ought to matter. The importance of reasons have always been emphasised by deliberative democrats and civic republicans, but I specify that these should not be reasons which all can accept as commonly argued, but rather reasons which the others may accept (or at least which the others cannot justifiably reject). In my view, the we-perspective is constructed not by an appeal to universal standards purportedly acceptable to all, but by the inclusion of the actual perspectives of different groups of citizens. With this in mind, in the rest of the thesis I show how reasoning in the public sphere makes a difference, so that it can serve both as a standard for non-arbitrariness and as a practical method to achieve it. Thus, apart from its normative function, the requirement for rigorous reasoning gives authorities the needed flexibility, while preventing them from acting arbitrarily. The normative part raises the question how to design institutions to make reasons matter more, or, in other words, how to contain power by the use of reasons. In the empirical part that follows, I study some existing institutions of the European Union from the suggested perspective to provide a few preliminary answers to it. Far from claiming that the EU is a democracy of reasons, I illustrate how a democracy of reasons could look like, how the existing institutions contribute to it, as well as the limits of their contribution.
LC Subject Heading: Law -- Methodology; Debates and debating; Reasoning
Examining Board: Professor Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute (Supervisor) Professor Loïc Azoulai, European University Institute Professor Damian Chalmers, London School of Economics Professor Christian Joerges, University of Bremen.; Defence date: 24 July 2013
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