The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union

The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union

The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union

The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union

Synopsis

'Outstanding book... stimulating introduction... this is a volume that is rich in ideas and takes the debates over US and EU federal development in original and thought-provoking directions.' -Perspectives on European Politics and Society'The Federal Vision offers a comparative overview and an in-depth analysis of issues concerning federalism and its future in the European Union, the United States and even in a more global framework.' -Collegium'This book presents an overarching and balanced picture of the issues related to the concept of federalism within the European Union (EU) and its implication for an ever-closer global order... features also a helpful comparison of the EU and US federal settings... addresses cruical challenges such as the issues of citizenship, legitimacy and statehood.' -Collegium'The book is an important addition to the literature. It provides a comprehensive study of key issues facing the European Union, the major contemporary debates regarding its political system, and the parallels with similar debates in the United States.' -International JournalWhat is happening to the uneasy relationship between the States and the Union in the United States and the European Union? How to make subsidiarity and devolution work better on both sides of the Atlantic? And what are the new models of governance beyond the state that can sustain the challenge of legitimacy? This book brings together an impressive array of historians, political scientists, legal scholars and political economists to address these questions and articulate a Federal Vision for the 21st century.

Excerpt

Jacques Delors and Joseph Nye

Governance is changing in a world characterized by an information revolution, globalization and the emergence of many new voices on the international scene. The type of centralization that was typical of the industrial age no longer fits our post-modern societies and economies. President Clinton and other politicians claimed that the era of big government was over, but they said little about what would take its place. As Daniel Bell has argued, the nation-state is too small for the big problems of life and too big for the small problems. Yet, and for the foreseeable future, the nation-state will not whither away either. This book explores some of the ramifications of such a diagnosis in the context of the current debates about governance in the United States and the European Union.

What is the appropriate level of governmental authority, and for what purposes? What is happening to the uneasy relationship between the States and the Union in the United States and the European Union? How can we make subsidiarity and devolution work better on both sides of the Atlantic? And what do these debates tell us about the new models of governance beyond the state that can sustain the challenge of legitimacy? These are the types of questions that are explored in The Federal Vision. Based on a transatlantic dialogue between scholars concerned about modes of governance in both polities, this is a collective attempt at analysing the ramifications of the legitimacy crisis in our multi-layered democracies, drawing from and moving beyond the current policy debates over 'devolution' and 'subsidiarity'. The title is more a metaphor than a description of a unique legal structure. As Robert Howse and Kalypso Nicolaidis point out in the introductory chapter, the very language of federalism in its classic sense is a hotly contested political issue in Europe. While the term and notion of federalism is no longer taboo in Europe, there is still a wide gap between those who ultimately envision a federal state at the European level and those_like the contributors in this volume_who advocate a decentralized, transnational form of federalism, a federation of nation-states. The authors in this book mostly see the European Union as a sui generis post-modern polity, rather than an entity modelled on the American federal system, and do not advocate a change in its nature.

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