Normative Theory and the EU: Between Contract and Community
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION THEORY, 2ND EDITION, pp. 198-220, Thomas Dietz, A. Wiener, eds., Oxford University Press
23 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2009 Last revised: 19 Jan 2010
Date Written: December 7, 2009
The question of the EU’s normative legitimacy remains a live policy issue and not just a matter of academic concern. Roughly speaking, two broad approaches have been adopted towards the problem, both in the literature and in practice. The first stresses the justice, as opposed to the efficiency and productiveness, of outcomes and the structures that lead to them (e.g. Van Parijs 1997b). By contrast, the second stresses the processes by which decisions are made and the degree to which citizens can be said to identify with them and each other (e.g. Føllesdal 2006a). Neither approach entirely ignores the concerns of the other. However, the one tends to read process through outcomes, the second outcomes through process. While outcome theories have been predominately contractarian and adopted a ‘rationalist’ ontology, process theories have tended towards the communitarian and employed an ‘interpretative’ ontology (Taylor 1995, Dobson 2006) - with a number of theories, arguably like the EU itself, hovering tantalizingly betwixt and between (Bellamy and Castiglione 1997). This chapter explores all three approaches.
Keywords: EU, Constitutionalism, Democracy, Citizenship Rawls, Habermas. Miller
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