Syriza, the EU and negative integration

Ein Gastbeitrag von Will Denayer

Forty-two years ago, Dieter Groh, a German political scientist, wrote a seminal book, Negative Integration und revolutionärer Attentismus: Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie am Vorabend des Ersten Weltkrieges (Negative Integration and Revolutionary Rethorics: German Social Democracy on the Eve of World War One). Negative integration puts the rhetoric of liberal democracy into question. Democratic theory postulates that it is possible for citizens to form parties, for parties to participate in elections, for representatives to get into parliament and government and to accomplish through political means what citizens set out to do, in other words, it postulates democracy, from the bottom up. While there are ‚obstructions‘ – elites, class conflicts, policy failures, lobbies, bribery, bureaucracies that sabotage implementation, voting impediments, gerrymandering, propaganda, political apathy or pressures or dictates from abroad etc. – there is no question about how liberal democratic theory portrays the political process. Free elections guarantee that governments come into power so that their policies embody ‘the will of the nation.’ This is the cornerstone of democratic theory and it is the litmus test of democratic practice.

Unlike many political scientists, Groh had little interest in these ‚obstructions‘. [...]

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