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How democracy

really works.

Fascism is fun


Democracy is...


—John Peterson,

Jean Monnet Professor of European Politics,

University of Glasgow;

Editor, Journal of European Market Studies

“This work provides a rigorous, comparative examination of the European Union and the federal democracies of Switzerland and the United States.”


“Thomas Zweifel's delivers a compelling empirical analysis of transparency and accountability in the European Union. ...A must-read.”

—Andrew Moravcsik

Princeton University

“provocative and counterintuitive... well worth our reflection.”

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

—Winston Churchill, Speech to the House of Commons, Nov. 11, 1947

Democratic Deficit?

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Is the European Union democratic? Much has been written claiming that the EU's institutions and policymaking processes are insufficiently accountable to, and representative of, the European electorate. In Democratic Deficit?, Thomas D. Zweifel offers a provocative new treatment of the concept of democracy in the EU.

Drawing upon established, quantifiable scales of democracy, the study demonstrates that the EU's decision-making and regulatory processes do not show a democratic deficit greater than that of most liberal democracies and finds that in certain policy areas liberal democracies may even benefit from adopting EU practices.

Supported by two case studies comparing regulatory policymaking in action across the three polities, Zweifel's work will prove to be a valuable and thought-provoking addition to the debate about European governance and the increasingly important role of transnational and supranational organizations.

This book provides compelling empirical analysis of transparency and accountability in the European Union. The provocative conclusion turns the conventional wisdom about European integration on its head. A must-read for all those interested in the future of European regulatory policy-making.

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