[Journal:] Journal of European Public Policy [ISSN:] 1466-4429 [Publisher:] Taylor & Francis [Place:] London [Volume:] 25 [Year:] 2018 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 452-464
This contribution contends that the European Union (EU) has taken an authoritarian turn in the past crisis decade, which needs to be systematically addressed in EU studies. Starting from an ideal-typical conception of scenarios for the EU’s emergent political order, it argues that there has been a shift towards decisionist authority structures at both the domestic and the European level. On the one hand, the distinct European emergency politics that characterized the euro crisis have introduced traits of authoritarian rule in the EU’s supranational governance. On the other hand, democratic backsliding and the rise of nationalist populism have prompted authoritarian and anti-European tendencies at the national level. The article claims that the developments are linked and mutually reinforcing – building a ‘cycle of authoritarianism’. Given its dire consequences, EU studies need to reorient towards understanding the dynamic interplay of integration types and domestic politics and rethink questions of democratic legitimacy.
authoritarianism crisis emergency politics European Union legitimacy populism