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Democratic Legitimacy beyond the State: Politicization, Representation, and a Systemic Framework

Jonathan William Kuyper


Does the politicization of international authority help to reduce democratic deficits beyond the state? In this paper I argue that politicization provides a useful springboard for remedying democratic deficits at the EU and global level. Despite this promise, there are a range of concerns that inhibit a direct relationship between politicization and increased democratic legitimacy. The paper unpacks what politicization is and how it might relate to democratic legitimacy. It then argues that problems surrounding representation – in particular the constructivist view of representation – complicates this relationship. Significantly the notion of mobilization generates suspicions of democratic representational legitimacy. In response, the paper details a framework for assessing the democratic legitimacy of representative claims under conditions of politicization that responds to the aforementioned concerns. This framework is briefly applied to the cases of TTIP and TPP to show its merits.


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Published Online: 2018-11-08
Published in Print: 2018-11-27

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