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Title: Federalism, Confederalism, and Sovereignty Claims: Understanding the Democracy Game in the European Union
Authors: Glencross, Andrew
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Editors: Adler-Nissen, R
Gammeltoft-Hansen, T
Citation: Glencross A (2008) Federalism, Confederalism, and Sovereignty Claims: Understanding the Democracy Game in the European Union. In: Adler-Nissen R, Gammeltoft-Hansen T (ed.). Sovereignty Games: Instrumentalizing State Sovereignty in Europe and Beyond . Palgrave Studies in Governance, Security, and Development, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 105-126.
Keywords: EU democracy, sovereignty, confederalism, federalism
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Palgrave
Series/Report no.: Palgrave Studies in Governance, Security, and Development
Abstract: It is commonly assumed that sovereignty is indivisible and hence that in any polity there has to be an institution able to claim ultimate political authority. By implication, indivisibility also means that confederation (a union of states) and federation (one state with more or less autonomous units) are mutually exclusive categories: "there can be nothing in between" (Onuf 1991, 432). Nevertheless, the EU seems to be precisely the "in between order" (Wind 2001, 103; cf. Sørensen 1999) that undermines such peremptory statements about the nature of sovereignty. The complicated story of sovereignty within the EU is accompanied by an equally unusual and problematic system of democratic accountability. Whereas other chapters in this volume emphasize the way states play games with sovereignty for manifold ends, this contribution examines the manner in which EU member states' sovereignty claims constitute playing a game with democracy itself. Whilst EU democracy has often been seen as etiolated, this chapter argues that - unlike many democratizing proposals that seek to overcome or bury member state sovereignty claims - such claims should in fact be understood as an essential feature of the complex art of negotiating the relationship between integration and EU democracy.
Rights: Rebecca Adler-Nissen, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Sovereignty Games: Instrumentalizing State Sovereignty in Europe and Beyond, 2008, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Affiliation: Politics

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