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IIS - Thomas König - 10/06/2019

NASP International and Interdisciplinary Seminars

Thomas König (University of Mannheim)
National Partyism, Veto Bicameralism, and European Integration

10 June 2019, h. 11.00
Room A
NASP Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences
Via Pace, 10 - Milan

 

Abstract
This book introduces national partyism to explain the rise of populist movements and Euroskeptic parties by the institutional choices of the political leaders of the member states, which ineffectively reformed the EU's institutional framework in the post-Maastricht period. According to national partyism, political leaders are stronger affiliated to their office-, policy- and vote-seeking demands of their national parties than to the interests of their country, government, interest groups etc.. Their national orientation explains increasing socio-economic contest about the representation principle in the EU's separation of powers, while their partisan-ideological attitudes determine pooling of policy competences at the EU level. As a result, they establish veto bicameralism with a descriptive representation principle to approve detailed legal prescriptions for a growing number of policy areas, including sensitive areas that affect the daily life of citizens. However, instead of strengthening the electoral connection in the post-Maastricht period, veto bicameralism fosters technocracism with more centralizing executive and judicial activism in the EU's separation of powers. Technocracism, in which experts without electoral mandate overemphasize responsibility for the higher goal of European integration at the expense of responsiveness to the daily interests of the citizens, reduces turnout despite the (veto) empowering of the European Parliament in the first place. Instead of signaling pluralist competition on the higher goal of European integration, mainstream/ruling parties continue to support technocracism, to which citizens oppose in times of referendums and crises. However, when referendums and crises are managed in a technocratic manner, Euroskeptic opposition/periphery parties have a walk over as the costs for nativists "My Population First"-slogans and -attitudes are not internalised by the descriptive representation principle. Citizens affectively align along the pro- versus anti-integrationist cleavage offered by veto bicameralism at the supply side, which transforms party competition and government formation within the member states.

This seminar is part of the NASP International and Interdisciplinary Seminars Series 2019.

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