Democratic theory
in Habermas and European Integration (second edition)
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Up until this chapter, an ‘externalist’ view was used to discuss the lifeworld, focussing on relationships with the market and state in the course of social evolution. This is the most common way of approaching European integration in theoretical treatments, from the outside. This chapter instead focusses on the ‘internalist’ perspective of the lifeworld by examining its direct experience of market and administrative imperatives. The chapter explains how Habermas believes that a functioning democracy is one where the lifeworld can resist, and even potentially reverse, incursions by these imperatives. This chapter takes this approach by applying Habermas’s democratic theory to the EU. The siege model and the sluice gate model are employed in detail. The relationship between democracy and legitimacy that this theory suggests are relatively linear with fluctuations in one being shown to generally give rise to variations in the other. The chapter then concludes with a brief survey of the rival accounts of democracy within the EU.

Habermas and European Integration (second edition)

Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state


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