The Struggle for EU Legitimacy: Public Contestation, 1950-2005 - Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics (Hardback)Claudia Sternberg (author)
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This award-winning book answers some of the big questions on the legitimacy of the European Union. Specifically, it looks at what it would mean for the EU to be considered a legitimate body and where our ideas on this question come from. The Struggle for EU Legitimacy traces the history of constructions and contestations of the EU's legitimacy, in discourses of the European institutions and in public debate. Through an interpretive, non-quantitative textual analysis of an eclectic range of sources, it examines both long-term patterns in EU-official discourses and their reception in member-state public spheres, specifically in the German and French debates on the Maastricht and Constitutional Draft Treaties. The story told portrays the history of legitimating the EU as a continuous contest over the ends and goals of integration, as well as a balancing act-which was inescapable given the nature of the integration project-between 'bringing the people in' and 'keeping them out'. In addition, it was a balancing act between actively politicizing and deliberately de-politicizing the stakes of EU politics.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Number of pages: 290
Weight: 4728 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm
'To the much studied and contested subject of EU legitimacy this book brings a rare historical depth and a rich analysis of the shifting discursive strategies used by the different political actors to legitimate the EU's existence and institutions, or to challenge them in turn. It helps put the current crisis of EU legitimacy into a much broader perspective.'
David Beetham, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds, UK and Honorary Fellow, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK.
With the Eurocrisis and its aftermath, the struggle for legitimacy in EU politics has never been so acute. In this pathbreaking book, Claudia Schrag Sternberg takes us back through 50 years of competing narratives aimed at justifying the European project. By bringing together normative theory and empirical data in novel ways, the book sheds new light on the various ways in which the standards of legitimate political order for the EU have been re-imagined over time and continue to be today. A must read for anyone interested in EU affairs.
- Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
'There is no shortage of scholarly works on the legitimacy of European institutions. But this book is unlike any other: it does not try to offer one more normative approach, or to review shifts in public perceptions of the EU. Rather, it offers a fine-grained analysis of the legitimation strategies pursued by European institutions and political leaders, and the debates they have given rise to in France and Germany. Because of the new light it sheds, this much-needed contribution will enable readers to get a clearer perspective on an issue that remains central for the future of Europe.'
- Renaud Dehousse, Director, Centre d'etudes europeennes [OR: European Studies Centre], Sciences Po, Paris
'The Struggle for EU Legitimacy offers a highly illuminating analysis of the production and reception of political ideas. Through the close empirical study of contested claims to legitimacy, Schrag Sternberg reveals not just the evolution of a core political concept, but the shape, the richness, and also the brittleness, of the intellectual foundations of today's EU. A very accomplished work.'
- Jonathan White, Reader in European Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science