Democratic Empowerment in the European Union
Show Less

Democratic Empowerment in the European Union

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 9: Regulation by litigation as a form of empowerment

Christoph Struenck


Chapter 9 by Christoph Struenck deals with regulation by litigation as a form of empowerment. Do consumers and companies increasingly litigate to better enforce or even create consumer rights? This trend may empower individual citizens as consumers vis-à-vis companies, or the other way around. In the process, however, national democratically accountable political actors might lose power, and hence their voters. Nevertheless, there is barely evidence on public interest litigation in the European Union. In this chapter, patterns of consumer litigation are scrutinized. Relying on the framework of adversarial legalism, frequencies, goals, resources and achievements of litigation in six member states are highlighted. Contrary to influential concepts of ‘Eurolegalism’, public interest litigation in Europe is still very much entangled in national institutions. However, public interest litigation is no equivalent for comprehensive policy making. What it can best achieve is enforcing rights better, thereby raising awareness and saliency. This is an alternative way to empower citizens.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.