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Political legitimacy between democracy and effectiveness: trade-offs, interdependencies, and discursive constructions by the EU institutions

Sternberg, CS; (2015) Political legitimacy between democracy and effectiveness: trade-offs, interdependencies, and discursive constructions by the EU institutions. European Political Science Review , 7 (4) pp. 615-638. 10.1017/S1755773914000356. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper addresses the relationship between political legitimacy arising from a link with the ‘will of the people’, and political legitimacy arising from beneficial consequences for them. Questioning the common assumption of an inherent trade-off between ‘input’ and ‘output legitimacy’, it suggests that the two necessarily go together, and that their relationship is continuously reconstructed through discursive contestation. These claims are first substantiated conceptually, in reference to the legitimacy literature in European Union (EU) Studies, which is situated in the broader fields of Political Theory and Comparative Politics. In a second step, the argument is developed on the grounds of empirical case material: an interpretive, non-quantitative reconstruction of the changing discourses on EU legitimacy by the European institutions from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

Type: Article
Title: Political legitimacy between democracy and effectiveness: trade-offs, interdependencies, and discursive constructions by the EU institutions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S1755773914000356
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755773914000356
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published in a revised form in European Political Science Review: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755773914000356. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. Copyright © European Consortium for Political Research 2014.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503448
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