When Optimism Fails: Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Citizen Representation

19 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2018

See all articles by Simon Hix

Simon Hix

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

Liberal Intergovernmentalism has a particular set of assumptions about the relationship between voters and governments. Either voters are content to trust their governments, because issues have low salience, or governments react to voters’ preferences. How far is this ‘supply side’ of the theory still valid in the newly politicized world of EU politics? This article discusses the assumptions about representation in the theory, and looks at the conditions under which the assumptions might still hold and what this means for EU politics today. If the representational assumptions still hold in this highly politicized EU world, then the theory would predict policy gridlock. On the other hand, if there is a growing gap between publics and elites, then the assumptions, and the related propositions about the democratic deficit, no‐longer hold. Either way, the inherent optimism of the theory is undermined.

Keywords: representation, populism, liberal intergovernmentalism

Suggested Citation

Hix, Simon, When Optimism Fails: Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Citizen Representation (November 2018). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 56, Issue 7, pp. 1595-1613, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3275603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12785

Simon Hix (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Northampton NN7 1NE
United Kingdom

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