Research concept
Research programme 2011-2014
Research programme 2003-2006
Project area
Project area A
Project area B
Project area C
Project area D
Project area Z
  Deutsche Version  

Project area B

The Future of the Democratic National State

In the sub-project of the project area B the transformation of democratic legitimacy within the new constellation of statehood will be examined. The state of the “golden age” had a stable democratic legitimacy, which was however attached to certain societal prerequisites. For example, it was attached to a national identity, a working national political public, and an active civil society. Due to internationalization, privatization in changing statehood these prerequisites cannot be fulfilled easily: the division of deciding competences and democratic responsibility undermines the national legitimacy; but also transnational public and international civil societies are established in first steps. As a consequence, democratic legitimacy seems to be threatened.

The results of our previous studies show a complex, multi-layered picture: Albeit the political occupational competence of supranational regimes such as the EU and international regimes such as the UNO or the G8 might be enhanced, the national state remains the central reference point for the establishment of legitimacy. Despite accretion and translocation of political authority by supra- and international regimes and private governance-arrangements the often expected crisis of legitimacy of the national state has been absent (B1). However, the basis of legitimacy of international regimes are precarious: Transnational public as prerequisite for successful democratic legitimacy have only been established rarely and a transnational European public was only built in attempts and segmented by media types (B3). Moreover, deficits in electoral representation of the new rulers could be mitigated by the integration of civil organizations (B5).