Troels Skadshauge on EU democracy – University of Copenhagen

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15 August 2016

Troels Skadshauge on EU democracy

In Atlas Magazine on August 15th Troels Skadshauge commented on the democratic crisis of the European Union.

The occasion for this analysis of the democratic crisis of the European Union is the recent British referendum on EU membership. Some considered the British decision to leave the EU to have been made on an undisclosed basis, and for this reason the decision should be rejected. Skadhauge names this group rationalist. However, an opposing group, which Skadshauge names populists, understand the outcome of the referendum differently. They consider the people’s vote to leave the EU a necessary confrontation with the illegitimate supremacy of the EU and a triumph of democracy.

This conflict between rationalists and populists reflects a fundamental conflict in the democratic structure of the EU: a conflict between the ruling and the ruled. The rationalist view democracy from the perspective of the ruling while populists view democracy from the perspective of the ruled. However, this conflict should not be seen as a conflict between those who are for and those who are against the will of the people. Instead, these differing perspectives on democracy leads to different conceptions of what “democratic acoustics” best accentuate the will of the people. Thus, Skadshauge considers the necessary solution of this democratic crisis to be different democratic acoustics that can make the voice of the people echo among the European elite.

The full article can be found here.