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When optimism fails: liberal intergovernmentalism and citizen representation

Hix, Simon (2018) When optimism fails: liberal intergovernmentalism and citizen representation. Journal of Common Market Studies, 56 (7). pp. 1595-1613. ISSN 0021-9886

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jcms.12785


Liberal Intergovernmentalism has a particular set of assumptions about the relationship between voters and governments. Either voters are content to trust their governments, because issues have low salience, or governments react to voters’ preferences. How far is this ‘supply side’ of the theory still valid in the newly politicized world of EU politics? This article discusses the assumptions about representation in the theory, and looks at the conditions under which the assumptions might still hold and what this means for EU politics today. If the representational assumptions still hold in this highly politicized EU world, then the theory would predict policy gridlock. On the other hand, if there is a growing gap between publics and elites, then the assumptions, and the related propositions about the democratic deficit, no‐longer hold. Either way, the inherent optimism of the theory is undermined.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Wiley-Blackwell
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 15:15
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 18:57

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