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Assessing the democratic value of civil society engagement in the European Union

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Hüller, Thorsten; Kohler-Koch, Beate

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Corporate Editor Universität Mannheim, Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung (MZES)
Abstract "The title indicates an empirical question, but the main problems to solve are of a theoretical nature: Only when this preparatory work is done, we can - with the help of a theoretical model - investigate the democratic quality of civil society engagement in the EU empirically. So this paper is mostly on ‘asking the right questions’: First, a normative conception of democracy is outlined, which is in our view appropriate to measure and assess the changing quality of European democratic performance (1). Then the interpretations of civil society and its latent democratic functions are introduced (2). In a next step, different conceptions of the EU and respective roles of civil society involvement are discussed because the potential democratic function of civil society varies with the conceptions of the EU as polity (3). Based on these deliberations we develop an analytical model of the 'civil society-EU democracy' relation and specify the relevant questions in order to measure its democratic performance (4). Finally, we discuss the implications of our theoretical model for empirical research and try to give some very rough indications concerning the overall democratic performance of the civil society involvement in the European Union (5)." (excerpt)
Keywords EU; European Commission; bourgeois society; civil society; democracy
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method descriptive study
Collection Title EU-governance to civil society: gains and challenges
Editor Kohler-Koch, Beate; Bièvre, Dirk de; Maloney, William
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
City Mannheim
Page/Pages p. 145-181
Series CONNEX Report Series, 05
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne