This stimulating new international study of the state of democracy today contributes towards improving and deepening our understanding of the democratic process, both in new and old democracies. It brings together a leading group of international experts in the fields of politics, economics, sociology, journalism, anthropology and law. It covers key themes that have a bearing on the quality and sustainability of democratic practices and relates them to policies in specific countries or regions. A special concern of the book is to identify and evaluate policies aimed at securing improvements in democratic practices.
Most countries in the world today have embraced democracy. The rise of democracy has strengthened support for human rights and is making possible the resolution of many conflicts through political and legal means.
In many countries, however, the state of democracy is a cause of concern. Countries that have recently become democratic are often unable to satisfy elementary social and economic aspirations of their citizens and many continue to restrict basic civil and political freedoms. Voters’ apathy, distrust of politicians, media manipulation and corruption are issues that also trouble citizens in old established democracies.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Democratization.
Introduction: The Europeanisation of Parliamentary Democracy 1. Holding Governments Accountable in European Affairs: Explaining Cross-National Variation 2. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Negotiations: Coping with Structural Dilemmas 3. Deliberate Delegation or Abdication? Government Backbenchers, Ministers and European Union Legislation 4. Europeanization of Executive-Legislative Relations: Nordic Perspectives 5. Backbenchers strike back: parliamentary influence in EU affairs 6. The Role of Committees in European Scrutiny 7. The Power of Opposition Parliamentary Party Groups in European Scrutiny 8. Roles and Orientations of Members of Parliament in the EU Context: Congruence or Difference? Europeanization or Not? 9. Relationships between the EP and National Parliaments – Conflict or Co-Operation? 10. After the Convention: The Future Role of National Parliaments in the European Union Conclusion for Further Research
The journal, Democratization, emerged in 1994, during ‘the third wave of democracy’, a period which saw democratic transformation of dozens of regimes around the world. Over the last decade or so, the journal has published a number of special issues as books, each of which has focused upon cutting edge issues linked to democratization. Collectively, they underline the capacity of democratization to induce debate, uncertainty, and perhaps progress towards better forms of politics, focused on the achievement of the democratic aspirations of men and women everywhere.