Contesting Austerity: On the Limits of EU Knowledge Governance

19 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2017

See all articles by Marija Bartl

Marija Bartl

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

Lacking robust democratic foundations, EU authority is founded on output legitimacy — delivery of (economic) prosperity through rational governance. Yet current austerity policies are the epitome of irrational governance. While this volume highlights the EU's limited ability to deliver rational output through law and legal rationality, I argue that, without democracy, the EU cannot deliver the desired output through knowledge and technical rationality either. In fact, embedding expert institutions in democratic institutional settings plays a crucial epistemic role, contributing to the production of more reflective, socially inclusive knowledge. Lack of such democratic input in the EU's knowledge production is one of the root causes of its crumbling output legitimacy and the creation of many disenfranchised (internal) peripheries. Three recent challenges of Brexit, TTIP, and austerity may be seen as attempts to reclaim the democratic responsiveness of EU technocratic rule. However, the strategies of exit and voice have not been available in all these cases: in the Greek tragedy, contesting austerity ended in subjugation: a mirror image of ‘rational’ governance if unaided by inclusive democratic process.

Suggested Citation

Bartl, Marija, Contesting Austerity: On the Limits of EU Knowledge Governance (March 2017). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 44, Issue 1, pp. 150-168, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911344 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jols.12018

Marija Bartl (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL) ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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