Portrait of the Eu as a Rational Agent: Collective Reason and Democratic DeficitReport as inadecuate

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Croatian yearbook of European law & policy, Vol.10 No.10 December 2014. -

In the present article I take a critical view of the well-known

discursive dilemma which captures the difference between governance

by collective reasoning and governance responsive to majoritarian

will. I identify a problem with the solution preferred by the republican

theory which I call the rationality gap and suggest that in

principle deliberation in the public sphere may bring the two ends together,

thus avoiding the gap. Then I look at the European Union EU

through the prism of civic republicanism and analyse it as an example

of a system which collectivises reason. From such a perspective, the

notorious democratic deficit is explainable as a contradiction between

collective reason and popular will. In principle, pan-European deliberation

could close the gap there, too. However, it is obstructed by competition

from spontaneous deliberation in the existing national public

spheres. The latter are more robust and for that reason the rationality

gaps arising there are closed faster so that national public opinions

polarise and defend ‘national’ interest against further deliberative

challenges at the upper level. I argue that the notion of competition is

useful to explain why, despite the development of common democratic

institutions at the EU level and despite the emergence of a weak pan-

European public, the deficit is bound to persist.

Author: Vesco Pascalev -

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/


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