Masterkurs: Democracy in the EU

The seminar focuses on the democratic quality of the European Union. As policy-making has shifted to a remarkable extent to the EU-level, the question of democratic legitimacy of the processes and the output of the decision-making in these supranational structures has emerged within the last decades. Many scholars of political science have addressed the issue,however they could agree neither on a common diagnosis nor on an endeavor to effectively democratize the political system of the European Union.    On the basis of the academic discussion, the seminar will intensively look at the arguments in the debate which support or question the alleged existence of a democratic deficit in the European Union. Furthermore we will address proposed remedies to solve the democratic problem e.g. by parliamentarization, by deliberative democracy or by direct participation of the citizens. One central finding of our discussions might be that the concept as well as the operationalization of democracy beyond nation state has to be reviewed. For each class all students are asked to prepare the assigned reading (approx. 20-30 pages/week). In-class participation is considered obligatory. A basic knowledge of the EU political system is expected from the participants.