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7 - Democracy’s Fragility and the European Political Order

Functionalism, Militant Democracy, and Crisis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2022

Richard Ned Lebow
Affiliation:
King's College London
Ludvig Norman
Affiliation:
Stockholms Universitet
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Summary

This chapter focuses on the origins of the institutions that would evolve into the European Union. Norman argues that a focus on perceptions of fragility provides a fruitful but underexplored perspective on the creation of the early institutions of European postwar political cooperation. The design of these institutions were informed by perceptions of fragility associated with democratic governance. The conventional functionalist story of the EU, where cooperative institutions were set up to prevent new conflicts between the formerly warring countries, while not inaccurate, obscures how the reconstruction of the European political order was also an answer to the breakdown of European democracy before the war. Notions of democracy’s fragility informed the functionalist perspective on politics as well as the perceived for a ‘militant’ protection of democratic institutions. Apart from shaping the origins of the European political order, the chapter argues that perceptions of fragility have continued to inform the institutional development of the EU and even ongoing efforts to strengthen its democratic aspects.

Type
Chapter
Information
Robustness and Fragility of Political Orders
Leader Assessments, Responses, and Consequences
, pp. 176 - 201
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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