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The Democratic Deficit of the European Union

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Author(s): Thomas Jensen

Journal: Living Reviews in Democracy
ISSN 1663-0165

Volume: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The EU, as the most developed international organization, provides a laboratory for observing the development of democratic structures outside its member-states. The democratic deficit debate thus has implications that reach beyond the EU and touch upon crucial issues of future developments within democratic theory. This review distinguishes between three different types of legitimacy, namely procedural, efficiency and social legitimacy, and authors are discussed according to which type of legitimacy that underlines their analysis of the democratic deficit. Most authors invoke one type of legitimacy as their basis, but a new strand is emerging that mixes different types of legitimacy when establishing normative criteria for the EU. It is concluded that, in order to further the debate, this new strand has potential to develop advanced normative models appropriate for democracy beyond the nation-state.

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