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The European Union and British Democracy : Towards Convergence - Janet Mather

The European Union and British Democracy

Towards Convergence

Hardcover Published: 8th September 2000
ISBN: 9780333776483
Number Of Pages: 230

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This text examines evolving trends in democracy at EU and UK levels, pointing out the primary shortcomings of both. It examines the relationship between the democratic practices of the EU and the UK, explaining the paradox of the way in which the EU, despite the poor quality of its own democracy, has enabled devolved decision-making in a novel multilayer polity. The book also considers future prospects for converged Western European democracy in the light of the Labour government's popularizing agenda.

'This is a refreshing refutation of the Eurosceptic view that the EU threatens British democracy. Drawing on political theory and a wealth of empirical evidence, Janet Mather argues that the British political system is pre-democratic and that the EU provides the best prospect for revitalising European democracy as a whole. The book will provoke debate amongst all those interested in these key issues for the twenty first century.' - Michael Newman, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration Studies, University of North London



'Suggesting that Britain's democratic system is somewhat faulty but likely to benefit from the democratic requirements produced by EU integration, this book raises some important issues about a state with an ambiguous European profile. Janet Mather turns Euro-sceptic rhetoric on its head to provoke a re-appraisal of what some might see as accepted wisdom.' - Juliet Lodge, University of Leeds



'This is a refreshing refutation of the Eurosceptic view that the EU threatens British democracy. Drawing on political theory and a wealth of empirical evidence, Janet Mather argues that the British political system is pre-democratic and that the EU provides the best prospect for revitalising European democracy as a whole. The book will provoke debate amongst all those interested in these key issues for the twenty-first century.' - Michael Newman, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration Studies, University of North London

Acknowledgementsp. xiv
List of Figuresp. xv
List of Abbreviationsp. xvi
Introductionp. 1
Why Democracy?p. 8
The origin of democracyp. 8
Participatory democracyp. 8
Representative democracyp. 9
Democratic benefitsp. 11
Minimalist democratic outcomesp. 12
Instrumentalist democratic outcomesp. 14
Organic democratic outcomesp. 17
Democratic outcomes reconsideredp. 21
Democratic inputs (1) -- representationp. 22
Non-elected representationp. 22
Defining electoral representationp. 22
Theories of electoral representationp. 23
Types of elections within representative systemsp. 24
Electoral representation and democratic benefitsp. 25
Representative systems reconsideredp. 28
Democratic inputs (2) -- participationp. 28
Problems for participatory democracyp. 28
Problems and opportunities offered by participatory formsp. 30
What is democratic decision-making?p. 32
Participatory democracy and democratic benefitsp. 33
Conclusionp. 34
Pre-Blairite Democracy in Britainp. 35
Development of the UK Parliamentp. 35
The UK's constitutionp. 36
Parliamentary sovereigntyp. 36
Parliamentary democracyp. 36
The composition of Parliamentp. 37
Democracy within the British constitution reviewedp. 40
The British House of Commons and representative democracyp. 41
Introductionp. 41
The UK's electoral system and democracyp. 41
The British House of Commons as a representative bodyp. 43
The UK parliament and democracyp. 52
Central and local government in the UKp. 52
The constitutional position of local governmentp. 53
Parliament and local government before 1979p. 54
Parliament and local government 1979-1997p. 55
Centralisation, decentralisation and democracyp. 58
The UK, the European Union and the Legitimacy Deficitp. 61
The prima facie case for reducing the UK's democratic deficitp. 61
European Union influence over the UKp. 62
The European Union and legitimacyp. 63
The European Union and the British publicp. 65
European Union institutions and repairing the democratic deficitp. 67
The European Councilp. 68
The Council of Ministersp. 68
The European Commissionp. 70
The European Court of Justicep. 71
The European Parliament and the democratic deficitp. 71
Other prospects for democracy within the European Unionp. 73
Power and the European Parliamentp. 76
Relations of powerp. 76
Power, legitimacy and the European Parliamentp. 76
Status of the European Parliamentp. 76
Formal powersp. 77
The Treaties of Paris and Romep. 77
From Rome to the Single European Actp. 79
The Single European Actp. 79
Treaty on European Union (Maastricht)p. 80
The Treaty of Amsterdamp. 82
Has the European Parliament sufficient formal power?p. 83
The European Parliament's use of powerp. 83
Parliamentary Assent before the accession of new countriesp. 84
Budgetary scrutinyp. 85
The European Parliament and the Commissionp. 86
Use of power reconsideredp. 88
Democracy and the European Parliamentp. 91
Kratos and Demosp. 91
European elections and popular powerp. 92
Electoral systems and the European Parliamentp. 93
Democratic input: European Parliament electionsp. 94
European Parliament awareness and electoral turnoutp. 94
Voter effectivenessp. 95
Voter efficacyp. 96
Voting levelsp. 97
The European Elections 1999p. 98
Towards a representative system or a representative democracy?p. 100
Democracy in input--alternative means of expressionp. 102
The democratic significance of European Parliament electionsp. 102
Towards democracy in outcomep. 103
Virtual representationp. 105
Individual representationp. 106
Judgmental representationp. 108
Political representationp. 110
Mandatory representationp. 113
The European Parliament and democracy in outcomep. 114
MEPs and demosp. 115
The European Union: Vehicle for Participatory Democracyp. 117
Subsidiarityp. 117
The Committee of the Regionsp. 123
Prospectsp. 123
History of the Committee of the Regionsp. 124
Allocation of membersp. 126
Selection of membersp. 126
The basis of appointment of representativesp. 127
Organisation of the Committee of the Regionsp. 130
Challenges for the Committee of the Regionsp. 130
Meeting the challengesp. 131
The corporate characterp. 131
The meaningful rolep. 135
The Committee of the Regions' relationshipsp. 135
Committee of the Regions effectivenessp. 137
The future of the Committee of the Regionsp. 138
The European Union's Options for Participatory Democracyp. 141
Options for participationp. 141
Potential for participationp. 141
Involving all of the peoplep. 143
Public debatep. 143
Referendap. 144
Involving some of the peoplep. 145
Involving only the people affected ("Associative Democracy")p. 146
Interest groups and the European Union's institutionsp. 147
Interest groups and increased popular participationp. 149
UK Interest group activity at European Union levelp. 151
Multi-sector or multi-level governance?p. 152
The European Union in Britain: Towards Multi-Level Governancep. 153
Multi-level governance, local government and democracyp. 153
The European Union and the status of sub-national governmentp. 155
"The empire fights back"--the response of the UK government to regionalisation 1993-1997p. 157
Sub-national government, funding and the European Unionp. 158
A study of Structural Funds and north west Cheshirep. 160
Allocation of European Union fundsp. 161
Involvement of local elected personsp. 162
Local government and the European Unionp. 165
Is funding the only significant factor?p. 166
How has sub-national government reacted?p. 168
A study of two Councilsp. 170
Significant factors for councilsp. 177
Conclusionp. 178
Converging Democracy: Blair's Britain and the European Unionp. 180
The 1997 Labour government, constitutional reform and the European Unionp. 180
Individual rights and powersp. 181
Human Rights Act 1998p. 181
Draft Freedom of Information Bill 1999p. 183
Quangosp. 185
National institutional reform - The House of Lordsp. 187
Regional devolutionp. 190
Local government reformp. 193
Electoral reformp. 196
Referendap. 196
Proportional representationp. 197
Conclusionp. 199
Conclusion: Snapshots and Photographsp. 200
Bibliographyp. 203
Indexp. 220
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780333776483
ISBN-10: 0333776488
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 230
Published: 8th September 2000
Publisher: SPRINGER VERLAG GMBH
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1