THE MEGA-LEVIATHAN AND ITS DEMOCRATIC BASIS:THE LEGISPRUDENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF HANS KELSEN FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION

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Abstract:

The European Union (EU) is a polity fundamentally different from the nationstates of which it is composed. The democratic basis of this mega-leviathan, therefore, must be constructed in a way other than the way that has been done in the case of national leviathans. Drawing on a theory of democracy elaborated by Hans Kelsen during the Weimar Republic, this article will devise a strategy through which we may be able to arrive at that alternative foundation for the EU.

Keywords: European Union; Hans Kelsen; democratic legitimacy; majority rule

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Legisprudence aims at contributing to the improvement of legislation by studying the processes of legislation from the perspective of legal theory. The content of the journal covers legislation in a broad sense. This comprises legislation in both the formal and the material sense (from national and European parliaments, regulation, international law), and alternatives to legislation (covenants, sunset legislation, etc.). It also takes in regulation (pseudo-legislation, codes of behaviour and deontological codes, etc.). The journal is theoretical and reflective. Contributions to the journal make use of an interdisciplinary method in legal theory. Comparative and system transcending approaches are encouraged. Sociological, historical, or economic studies are taken into account to the extent that they are relevant from the perspective of interdisciplinary legal theory. Dogmatic descriptions of positive law are not taken into consideration.
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