Is the European Union democratic? Much has been written claiming that the EU's institutions and policymaking processes are insufficiently accountable to, and representative of, the European electorate. In Democratic Deficit?, Thomas D. Zweifel offers a provocative new treatment of the concept of democracy in the EU. The work provides a rigorous, comparative examination of the European Union and the federal democracies of Switzerland and the United States. Drawing upon established, quantifiable scales of democracy, the study demonstrates that the EU's decision-making and regulatory processes do not show a democratic deficit greater than that of the bureaucracies of most liberal democracies and finds that in certain policy areas liberal democracies may even benefit from adopting EU practices. Supported by two case studies comparing regulatory policymaking in action across the three polities, Zweifel's work will prove to be a valuable and thought-provoking addition to the debate about European governance and the increasingly important role of transnational and supranational organizations.
This work provides a rigorous, comparative examination of the European Union and the federal democracies of Switzerland and the United States.
Chapter 1 Democratic Deficit? Chapter 2 Democratic Deficit Arguments Chapter 3 Institutions Compared Chapter 4 Bureaucratic Democracy Chapter 5 Case 1 - Regulating Mergers Chapter 6 Case 2 - Regulating Biotech Chapter 7 Democratic Surplus?
A lively, incisive piece of work that straddles the (vanishing) line between international relations and comparative politics. Thomas Zweifel has delivered a provocative and counterintuitive treatment of the EU's democratic deficit which is well worth our reflection. -- John Peterson, University of Glasgowunlike many observers, he comes to what he himself calls "a surprising conclusion" * Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online, June 2010 *Thomas Zweifel's pathbreaking book Democratic Deficit? delivers a compelling empirical analysis of transparency and accountability in the European Union. His provocative conclusion, namely that the EU regulatory process is as accountable as its Swiss and US counterparts, turns the conventional wisdom about European integration on its head. A must-read for all those interested in the future of European regulatory policy-making. -- Andrew Moravcsik, Professor of Government and Director, European Union Program, Harvard University