The Normative Turn in European Union Studies: Legitimacy, Identity and Democracy

University of Exeter Department of Politics RUSEL Working Paper No. 38

14 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2010 Last revised: 12 Jan 2010

Richard Bellamy

University College London - Department of Political Science; European University Institute

Dario Castiglione

University of Exeter - Department of Politics

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

By raising fundamental questions about the methods and ultimate goals of European integration, Maastricht forced supporters and opponents alike to confront the legitimacy both of the Union and - as has become apparent with the crisis of the Santer Commission - of the institutional architecture put in place to steer it. The strategic-oriented action and normative argument avoided for so long by the main political actors, are inescapable when tackling this issue. Thus, national politicians and European authorities have self-consciously, though perhaps confusedly, been obliged to start discussing the future shape of what Jacques Delors once called ‘un object politique non-identifié.’ Academics, for their part, have discovered that the integration process depends not simply on functional efficiency and certain given economic and national interests, but also on people’s ideals and perceptions. Consequently, explanation and justification have proved less easily distinguishable than earlier positivistic and behaviouralist models assumed. Hence, the ‘normative turn’ in European studies. In this essay we wish to clarify certain aspects of the normative turn (section 1) and to explore some of the substantive issues that emerge from subjecting the European integration process to normative scrutiny (sections 2, 3 and 4). In the conclusion, we shall sketch the kind of normative politics we feel best suits the emerging European polity.

Keywords: Normative Theory, EU, Citizenship, Legitimacy, Democracy

Suggested Citation

Bellamy, Richard and Castiglione, Dario, The Normative Turn in European Union Studies: Legitimacy, Identity and Democracy (2000). University of Exeter Department of Politics RUSEL Working Paper No. 38 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1530444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1530444

Richard Bellamy (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Political Science ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom
020 7679 4980 (Phone)
020 7679 4969 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/people/richard-bellamy

European University Institute ( email )

Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Tuscany 50014
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/MaxWeberProgramme/People/RichardBellamywebpage.aspx

Dario Castiglione

University of Exeter - Department of Politics ( email )

Amory Building
Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom

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