Krunke on 'Sovereignty, constitutional identity, direct democracy?' – University of Copenhagen

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27 October 2016

Krunke on 'Sovereignty, constitutional identity, direct democracy?'

Helle Krunke has published a book chapter entitled 'Sovereignty, constitutional identity and direct democracy? Direct democracy as a national strategy for upholding the nation state in EU integration'.

We are witnessing a complex, multi-faceted democratization process that geographically includes a general democratization process in large parts of Europe, where the process takes place at many levels, including the national and local levels and even the EU one. A significant feature of this process is the development of further involvement of the people through elements of direct democracy. The different processes cannot be viewed in isolation since the interaction between for instance, the EU and the member states is so close and projects that encourage direct democracy both at the national level of member states and at the EU level can be seen as part of a constitutional dialogue between the national and the EU level and vice versa. In this way, direct democracy can also be seen as yet another rhetorical and strategic tool that can be used to keep the concept of a nation state in line with the more well-established theory on ‘sovereignty’ and ‘national/constitutional identity’.

While the member states are introducing elements of direct democracy at the national level, the EU is looking to strengthen democratic legitimacy by, among other things, introducing elements of direct democracy. Hence, it seems that a competition between the EU and the nation states for democratic legitimacy among the people is taking place.

The chapter is part of a new book on 'Participatory Constitutional Change. The People as Amenders of the Constitution' edited by Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou. The book is the first volume in a new book series on 'Comparative Constitutional Change' at Routhledge. Read more