Political Philosophy meets European Studies. A Meta-Theoretical Framework
Abstract: In recent years, the question of legitimising European governance and its reactions to democratic procedures in the EU member states has led to an extraordinarily intricate and controversial debate difficult to get an overview of. It seems, as if one were imprisoned in a labyrinth without exit. This article makes an effort to disentangle the intertwined strands of theory and to present an analytically comprehensive differentiation that can, at least somewhat, contribute to the illumination of the maze. Taking the available categorisations into consideration, a meta-theoretical framework differentiating between certain concepts, objects, variables and standards of political legitimacy in the European multi-level system will be developed. The result is a comprehensive heuristic that should lead to a more precise analysis and evaluation of democracy and legitimacy criticisms with which the European Union is increasingly confronted.
Keywords: European studies, Political philosophy, European governance, Political legitimacy