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The social construction of demoicracy in the European Union


Cheneval, Francis; Nicolaidis, Kalypso (2017). The social construction of demoicracy in the European Union. European Journal of Political Theory, 16(2):235-260.

Abstract

The Eurozone crisis has brought the imperative of democratic autonomy within the EU to the forefront, a concern at the core of demoicratic theory. The article seeks to move the scholarship on demoicratic theory a step further by exploring what we call the social construction of demoicratic reality. While the EU’s legal-institutional infrastructure may imperfectly approximate a demoicratic structure, we need ask to what extent the ‘bare bones’ demoicratic character of a polity can actually be grounded in a full-flesh social construct that is or could be acted out in the democratic experience and the self-awareness of its peoples. Ultimately, such an enquiry should help us understand whether a polity like the EU is actually and potentially a stable or unstable political form. We develop a consistent theory of popular sovereignty drawing on John Searle and HLA Hart to conceive the constitutionalised people (dêmos) as a social fact and the sovereignty of the people as a status ascribed to the people. We use this construction of demoicratic reality as a conceptual framework to understand the possibility of popular sovereignty being exercised concurrently by several rather than just one dêmos.

Abstract

The Eurozone crisis has brought the imperative of democratic autonomy within the EU to the forefront, a concern at the core of demoicratic theory. The article seeks to move the scholarship on demoicratic theory a step further by exploring what we call the social construction of demoicratic reality. While the EU’s legal-institutional infrastructure may imperfectly approximate a demoicratic structure, we need ask to what extent the ‘bare bones’ demoicratic character of a polity can actually be grounded in a full-flesh social construct that is or could be acted out in the democratic experience and the self-awareness of its peoples. Ultimately, such an enquiry should help us understand whether a polity like the EU is actually and potentially a stable or unstable political form. We develop a consistent theory of popular sovereignty drawing on John Searle and HLA Hart to conceive the constitutionalised people (dêmos) as a social fact and the sovereignty of the people as a status ascribed to the people. We use this construction of demoicratic reality as a conceptual framework to understand the possibility of popular sovereignty being exercised concurrently by several rather than just one dêmos.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:30 Jan 2017 10:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 22:44
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1474-8851
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1474885116654696

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