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Nir Kosti and David Levi-Faur

The concept of European citizenship had the potential to transform EU politics and policy and thus increase democratic participation. This new concept has been responsible for raising expectations for democratic empowerment beyond the EU institutions and leaders’ capacity to deliver. This chapter discusses the new opportunities for, and barriers to, the extension of the political rights, especially those that extend the right to participate. It examines the options for democratic empowerment and analyses the options for a broader understanding of the concept of EU citizenship, emphasising a participatory perspective. The chapter claims that by developing new forms of participation, the EU has rather enhanced the empowerment of its citizens. This claim builds upon some basic assertions on the concept of EU citizenship and its role in the discursive and political controversies around citizenship and democracy. The chapter asserts first that EU citizenship is meaningful because it exists as a legal construct, as an object of public discourse and as a policy idea. Secondly, the idea of EU citizenship helps to advance the discussion on the processes and outcomes around the concept of citizenship and democratic reforms in Europe and elsewhere.

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

This content is available to you

Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

This book looks at democratic empowerment via institutional designs that extend the political rights of European citizens. It focuses on three themes: first, the positive and negative effects of the European Union institutional design on the political rights of its citizens; second, challenges for democratic regimes across the world in the 21st century in the context of regionalism and globalization; third, the constraints of neoliberalism and capitalist markets on the ability of citizens to effectively achieve their political rights within the Union.