Legislation, Implementation and Deliberation
Edited by Thomas Christiansen and Torbjörn Larsson
Chapter 11: Conclusion
11. Conclusion Thomas Christiansen, Torbjörn Larsson and Guenther F. Schaefer INTRODUCTION How legitimacy is created and maintained in a political system is one of the classical questions in the political discussion and the social sciences. It is also one of the topics that has attracted considerable attention among those analysing the EU, especially in relationship to the so-called democratic deﬁcit. However, most of the analyses of the legitimacy of the EU so far have not been based on extensive empirical research, but have been carried out following major constitutional reforms of the Community or were based on one or two speciﬁc case studies or were focusing on the formal organisation of the EU. In this book the aim has been to try to ﬁll this gap of knowledge by looking more deeply into the everyday life of the work of the committees, trying to get behind the ofﬁcial scene of decision-making. The issues of democracy and legitimacy are also linked to another classical question, the existence of formal and informal governmental structures. Usually the ofﬁcial (formal) version of how a government is organised only tells us half the story of how it actually functions, and what is stated in the constitution of a state can in reality be a rather poor description of the real exercise of political power. The tension between the norm – how a government is supposed to function – and the reality is always there and sometimes it is very strong. There are...
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