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New Modes of Governance and Democratic Accountability

abstract We raise the question of the link between new modes of governance and democratic accountability in the European Union. Does the analysis of such a link provide us with new insights into the ongoing debate on the EU's democratic qualities or deficiencies? Do the new modes facilitate or hinder democratic accountability of policy making in the EU? We define new modes of governance as modes of public policy-making that include private actors and/or public policy-making by public actors occurring outside legislative arenas, and which both focus on delimited sectoral or functional areas.

In the light of the insights from a number of different empirical projects, our answer to these questions is a "neither, nor". In our cases, new modes of governance did not impact negatively on existing patterns of democratic accountability. A the same time, neither multi-stakeholder policies nor a participation of civil society as such compensate for problems of democratic accountability in the EU. There is however some evidence that only if they are linked back and report to democratically elected governments is it more likely that the negative externalities deriving from public policy-making in functionally segmented arenas of the European Union's multi-level polity are dealt with in a more systematic way.
   
keywords New Modes of Governance, EU, European Union, multi-level polity
   
partner Adrienne Héritier
type other project type
status ongoing
start of project 2010
end of project 2011
additional informations
topics We raise the question of the link between new modes of governance and democratic accountability in the European Union
methods European Union's multi-level polity
contact Cornelia Kappeler