Political authority in todayOs leading democracies rests on generally shared perceptions by a given people that their government is responsible to them and considers each individual citizen equal under the law. Yet since the dawn of the industrial age, democratic governments have presided over economies that function on the basis of an unequal distribution of real resources. As globalization opens these economies, the gap between legal, ideal and economic reality widens and boundaries separating Othe peopleO of different democracies erode. This thought-provoking book explores the consequent challenge posed for the inherent legitimacy of democratic systems. When distinctive bonds between political power and social obligation break down, that erosion creates Odemocratic deficits.O Pressures build to reconstitute political authority beyond the state, and governance-in-practice grows ever more distant from democracy-in-principle. Nowhere is the deepening dilemma more evident than in the European Union. This book examines the contemporary breakdown and transformation of the democratic welfare state in Europe and draws fascinating contrasts with North America. In a cohesive and insightful collection of essays, a group of distinguished political scientists debates the implications of these trends both for theory and for policy.
A most informative and thought-provoking transatlantic volume on the future of democratic legitimacy above and beyond the nation state. Competing viewpoints are well represented, and all contributions face up to the severity of the challenges. Highly recommended.--Fritz W. Scharpf, Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
Chapter 1 Democracy and Globalization in Theory and Practice Chapter 2 Globalization and Democracy Chapter 3 Can the European Union Finally become a Democracy? Chapter 4 The Democratic Welfare State in an Integrating Europe Chapter 5 Democratic Governance beyond the Nation-State Chapter 6 Post-National Democracy in Europe Chapter 7 Do Deficits Imply Surpluses? Toward a Democratic Audit of North America Chapter 8 Democratic Foundations for a Global Economy: The European Experience and the Call to Imagination Part 9 Bibliography Part 10 Index Part 11 About the Editors and Contributors