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Kamil Ł. Ławniczak

Abstract

The Council is a crucial intergovernmental institution of the European Union. However, the complex, opaque and consensual character of the decision-making process in the Council puts its legitimacy into question. Intergovernmentalist theory posits that it is sufficiently legitimised, indirectly, by the member state governments. Constructivist research, on the other hand, suggests that socialisation might disturb the relaying of positions from the national to the supranational level, as the former approach implies. This paper aims to explore these issues, in particular related to representation and consensus. It contains an analysis of material generated in in-depth interviews and concludes that more effort is invested into reaching a more inclusive compromise in the Council than one would expect if it were to decide by qualified majority. Socialisation is weakening the input legitimacy of decisions made in the Council, while at the same time enhancing their output legitimacy by favouring genuine consensus.

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Iztok Rakar

Abstract

In recent years, public participation has been a frequent object of research, especially in relation to rulemaking procedures. The aim of the paper is to verify a common thesis, that public participation is a means for enhancing democratic legitimacy in rulemaking. In order to do so, the author defines legitimacy and legitimation, presents models of the democratic legitimacy of the executive and compares monistic and pluralistic understanding of democracy. The author then analyzes standpoints of American, English and German legal theory and case law and proposes a possible solution to the main research question.

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Katri Vaaks

Abstract

Debates about the democratic legitimacy of the European Union (EU) have been prevalent amongst scholars since its beginning. Students have analysed the legitimacy of the EU in terms of various normative criteria. But how is the EU legitimated in individual Member States and more so in an economic and sovereignty crisis when loyalties are particularly tested? The current study sheds light on it, scrutinising the conceptions associated with the EU in a country case of Estonia. Discourse analysis is used as a methodological tool to analyse the political discourse in printed media. The results indicate that the legitimation of the EU is derived from its output-oriented strategies, seeing the EU largely in instrumental terms.

Open access

Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka

Abstract

This article explains the relationship between subsidiarity and legitimacy of policies designed at EU level. Through means of theoretically informed analysis this paper claims that if the principle of subsidiarity is respected and implemented throughout the policy process, EU policy-making can aspire to satisfy the condition of both input and output legitimacy. The empirical part of the paper shows how, through a subsidiarity control mechanism known as the Early Warning System, national parliaments can collectively fulfill representative and deliberative functions in EU policy-making. Conclusions about the changing dynamics in parliamentary modus operandi in the field of EU affairs lead to forming a set of recommendations for further research.

Open access

Hate Speech, Democratic Legitimacy and the Age of Trump

(reviewing Eric Heinze. Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Rob Kahn

Summary

Should democracies punish hate speech? Eric Heinze, Professor of Law and Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London, has written an important new book on this subject, Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship. At the center of Heinze’s book is a revolutionary idea: Instead of debating whether democracies per se can or cannot legitimately ban hate speech (which assumes all democracies are the same), we should only condemn hate speech as illegitimate in those democracies that are longstanding, stable and prosperous. In this essay, I show how Heinze’s idea frees the debate over hate speech regulation from the Europe vs. America dichotomy that has haunted it for years, while carrying a special poignancy for the United States in the age of Trump.

Open access

Ekaterina R. Rashkova

Abstract

Reflecting upon recent political events, attention toward political legitimacy has been renewed within political science debate. However, the concept remains rather broad and elusive with few attempts to find a common way to measure it. An increasing number of scholars have recently examined the link between party regulation and political legitimacy. Building on this research, the current paper explores the role of regulation in legitimizing power. In particular, this project studies how rules endorse leaders. The paper discusses extant measurements of legitimacy and offers a new one. The new measure, Executive Legitimizing Index (ELI), is based on content analysis of constitutional texts in 30 European democracies and emphasizes the power that regulations give to the public to control the executive branch. The paper develops the index both conceptually and empirically and shows that there are significant differences in executive regulation among four pre-defined groups of democracies.

Open access

Merryn Davies-Deacon

Abstract

The attribution of names is a significant process that often highlights concerns over identity, ideology and ownership. Within the fields of minority languages and Celtic Studies, such concerns are especially pertinent given that the identities in question are frequently perceived as under threat from dominant cultures. The effect of concerns caused by this can be examined with reference to revived Cornish, which became divided into three major varieties in the later twentieth century; by examining the names of these varieties, we can draw conclusions about how they are perceived, or we are invited to perceive them. The motivations of those involved in the Cornish language revival are equally reflected in the names of the organisations and bodies they have formed, which equally contribute to the legitimation of revived Cornish. This paper examines both these categories of name, as well as the phenomenon of Kernowisation, a term coined by Harasta (2013) to refer to the adoption of Cornish personal names, and here extended to the use of Cornish names in otherwise English-language contexts. Examining the names that have been implemented during the Cornish language revival, and the ways in which they are used or indeed refused by those involved, gives us an insight into the various ideologies that steer the revival process. Within the context of the precarious nature of Cornish and Celtic identity, we can identify the concerns of those involved in the Cornish revival movement and highlight the role of naming as an activity of legitimation, showing how the diversity of names that occur reflects an equally diverse range of motivations and influences.

Open access

Nils Holtug

The Ethics of Immigration Policy

This article concerns the normative basis for immigration policy. In particular, I consider the implications of three fundamental liberal values, namely democracy, liberty and equality. First, I argue that democratic theory seriously questions the right to national self-determination when it comes to immigration. This is because potential immigrants may be coercively affected by immigration policy and, on a standard account of democratic legitimacy, this implies that potential immigrants should have democratic influence on such policies. In particular, I defend these claims against David Miller's defence of national self-determination. Second, I consider the importance of the right to freedom of movement and argue, again against Miller, that this right constitutes a weighty consideration in favour of allowing immigration in many cases. Third, I consider the importance of equality. In particular, I consider an argument for restrictive immigration policies, according to which immigration threatens to undermine social cohesion and so the basis for the welfare state. I challenge this argument in two respects. First, I point out that the empirical evidence for the claim that ethnic diversity undermines the welfare state is not as clear as some have assumed. Second, I point out that this argument for restrictive policies assumes that equality has domestic rather than global scope. Finally, I suggest that even if we are global egalitarians, we should aim for something less than (completely) open borders.

Open access

Laviniu Florin Ușvat

Abstract

The referendum is a multidimensional instrument, attested and practiced worldwide, considered to be a compulsory feature of democracy, provided it is used under strict lawfulness. The purpose of putting it into practice is to know the sovereign will of the people, expressed by vote, on a particular issue subject to its decision-making capacity. Following the referendum process, and in the case of referendum forms, such as the legislative or decision-making process, the referendum generates the obligation for the governing authorities to implement the decision adopted by the people. It is certain that the people’s response to the referendum question materializes a decision that emanates from the people, and which benefits in this way of increased legitimacy. Legitimacy is a concept that unleashes the force of the referendum, the result of which is imposed on everyone, the minority who voted against, and the governors. Legitimacy gives an institutional sense to the referendum, being an immanent part of the entire referendum process. It comes from the principle of the sovereign will of the people, which once expressed, is imposed on all the executive factors that must apply it. Legitimacy is both an intrinsic quality of the referendum and its effect, as it gives force to the outcome and justifies any political, legislative or administrative action or inaction. If the referendum process were deprived of legitimacy, or the resulting decision would be denied of this supreme attribute, then the referendum would be an artificial institution, empty of content, virtually useless.

Open access

Dana Percec

Abstract

The paper looks at the way in which the notion of queenship - in connection or in contrast with that of kingship and royalty in general - is reflected in Shakespeare’s historical tetralogies and in Henry VIII. It is argued that all royal figures, male and female, featured in these plays, are presented by Shakespeare in accordance not only with Tudor historiography, but also with Elizabeth I’s own strategies of self-representation. Thus, the major notions to be looked into are virtue, legitimacy, agency, as well as, more generally, early modern religious and political issues concerning gender relations.