Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Democracy Reconsidered: Britain, France, Sweden, and the EU
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether some positions in democratic theory should be adjusted or abandoned in view of internationalisation; and if adjusted, how. More specifically it pursues three different aims: to evaluate various attempts to explain levels of democracy as consequences of internationalisation; to investigate whether the taking into account of internationalisation reveals any reason to reconsider what democracy is or means; and to suggest normative interpretations that cohere with the adjustments of conceptual and explanatory democratic theory made in the course of meeting the other two aims.

When empirical methods are used, the scope of the study is restricted to West European parliamentary democracies and their international affairs. More particularly, the focus is on the making of budget policy in Britain, France, and Sweden after the Second World War, and recent budget policy in the European Union. The aspects of democracy empirically analysed are political autonomy, participation, and deliberation. The material considered includes parliamentary debates, official statistics, economic forecasts, elections manifestos, shadow budgets, general election turnouts, regulations of budget decision-making, and staff numbers in government and parliament budgetary divisions.

The study reaches the following conclusions among others. (i) The fact that internationalisation increases the divergence between those who make and those who are affected by decisions is not by itself a democratic problem that calls for political reform. (ii) That international organisations may have authorities delegated to them from democratic states is not sufficient to justify them democratically. Democratisation still needs to be undertaken. (iii) The fear that internationalisation dissolves a social trust necessary for political deliberation within nations seems to be unwarranted. If anything, views argued by others in domestic budgetary debate are taken increasingly serious during internationalisation. (iv) The major difficulty with deliberation seems to be its inability to transcend national boundaries. International deliberation at state level has not evolved in response to internationalisation and it is undeveloped in international institutions. (v) Democratic political autonomy diminishes during internationalisation with regard to income redistribution and policy areas taken over by international organisations, but it seems to increase in public spending. (vi) In the area of budget policy-making there are no signs that governments gain power at the expense of parliaments during internationalisation. (vii) To identify crucial democratic issues in a time of internationalisation and to make room for theoretical virtues like general applicability and normative fruitfulness, democracy may be defined as a kind of politics where as many as possible decide as much as possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen , 2004. , 380 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 104
Keyword [en]
Democracy, Democratic theory, Autonomy, Participation, Deliberation, Internationalisation, Globalisation, EU, Budget policy, International Political Economy, parliament, European integration, Sweden, France, Britain
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-264ISBN: 91-7265-948-3OAI: diva2:191701
Public defence
2004-11-05, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 14-18, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2004-10-12 Created: 2004-10-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1554 kB)1804 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1554 kBChecksum MD5
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Department of Political Science
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1804 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 2743 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link