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Journal Article

Alternation, Inclusion and the European Union


Kaiser,  André
Projekte von Gastwissenschaftlern und Postdoc-Stipendiaten, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft, Universität Mannheim;

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Kaiser, A. (2002). Alternation, Inclusion and the European Union. European Union Politics, 3(4), 445-458. doi:10.1177/1465116502003004003.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-5261-4
Current endeavours to employ the concept of consociational democracy in European Union research are misleading. This critique starts from a minimalist concept of democracy with alternation and inclusion of preferences in government formation as a parsimonious way to measure the extent to which political systems are majoritarian, consensual or even consociational in character. It then presents empirical results for the current EU member states and examines whether the European Union can be analysed in a similar way by using equivalent indicators. Despite a superficial resemblance to consociational systems, a crucial variable is missing in the EU: the formation of a stable grand coalition enclosing all institutions involved in decision-making. What has been wrongly termed consociationalism at the European level is best regarded as intergovernmentalism.