Democracy, Legitimacy and Soft Modes of Governance in the EU: The Empirical Turn

Journal of European Integration, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp 531-548, 2007

25 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2009

See all articles by Susana Borras

Susana Borras

Copenhagen Business School - Department for Business and Politics

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

During the past few years, the European Union has made increasing use of the so called soft modes of governance, modes based on voluntary and non-sanctioning forms of public action where state and non-state actors interact in extensive networks to solve complex social problems. This article deals with the issue of the democratic credentials of soft modes of governance at the European Union level. Starting by recognising that they entail an authoritative allocation of normative standards that have a wide societal reach, the article argues that a careful examination of the democratic legitimacy of these soft modes of governance needs to take into account their diverse nature. By pointing out different theoretical concepts of democracy, the article elaborates an analytical framework based on a series of yardsticks for the assessment of the democratic legitimacy of SMGs in the EU, thus providing a much-needed conceptual clarification for a research agenda that is ultimately an empirical one.

Keywords: European governance, soft modes of governance, soft instruments, input legitimacy, output legitimacy, Open Method of Coordination

Suggested Citation

Borras, Susana, Democracy, Legitimacy and Soft Modes of Governance in the EU: The Empirical Turn (2007). Journal of European Integration, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp 531-548, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475651

Susana Borras (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - Department for Business and Politics ( email )

Steen Blichersvej 22
DK - 2000 Frederiksberg C
Denmark
+45 38.15.35.68 (Phone)
+45 38.15.35.55 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbs.dk/staff/borras

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