The European Democratic Deficit, the Market and the Public Space: A Classical Liberal Critique

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This article argues that attempts to utilize a Habermasian conception of the public space as a remedy for the democratic deficit deemed to be inherent within the political institutions of the European Union (EU) are unlikely to prove successful. It is argued that the instrumental goal demanded of the public space is contrary to the communicative rationality intrinsic to the Habermasian model. Moreover, the Habermasian conception of the public space as an arena independent of both the market and the state is non-operational because a public space independent of the market is inconceivable. An alternative conceptualization of the public space, focusing on the role of the market as a communicative process, and an alternative remedy for the European democratic deficit, focusing on liberal representative democracy, are proposed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2002

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