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Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy

Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone

Vivien A. Schmidt

22 May 2020

ISBN: 9780198797067

384 pages

In Stock

Price: £29.49

This volume examines the interrelationship between democratic legitimacy at the European level and the ongoing Eurozone crisis that began in 2010.



This volume examines the interrelationship between democratic legitimacy at the European level and the ongoing Eurozone crisis that began in 2010.

  • Uses the lens democratic theory to examine the Eurozone crisis in terms of the policies, politics, and processes surrounding it
  • Offers theoretical insights into the broader question of the functioning of the EU, and international governance
  • Written by a leading figure in the field

About the Author(s)

Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe, Boston University

Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations, and Professor of Political Science at Boston University. During a distinguished career she has published a number of volumes including, Democracy in Europe (OUP, 2006) and The Futures of European Capitalism (OUP, 2002).

Table of Contents

    1:Introduction: Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy
    PART I Conceptualizing Legitimacy in the EU
    2:Conceptualizing Legitimacy: Input, Output, and Throughput
    3:Split-Level Legitimacy and Politicization in EU Governance
    PART II Throughput Legitimacy in the Eurozone Crisis
    4:Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone Crisis
    5:Council Governance: 'Dictatorship' or 'Deliberative Body'?
    6:European Central Bank Governance: ' Hero' or 'Ogre'?
    7:Commission Governance: 'Ayatollahs of Austerity' or 'Ministers of Moderation'
    8:European Parliament Governance: From 'Talking Shop' to 'Equal Partner'?
    PART III Output and Input Legitimacy in the Eurozone Crisis
    9:Policy Effectiveness and Performance in the Eurozone Crisis
    10:National 'Politics against Policy' in the Eurozone Crisis
    Conclusion: How to (Re) Envision Eurozone Governance: Beyond Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers


"In Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy Vivien Schmidt presents her many years of research on the Euro crisis and uses her excellent knowledge of the EU through her "insider knowledge" and proximity to the European institutions" - Stefan Wallaschek, Polit Vierteljahresschr

"Schmidt's analysis remains at the cutting edge of scholarship on the EU and as such makes an important contribution on shedding light on the increasingly obvious legitimacy problem of EU institutions and policies, which will no doubt inspire other scholars in the field." - Christian Schweiger, Chemnitz University of Technology

"Examines the legitimacy of EU governing activities in terms of their procedural quality, policy effectiveness, and political responsiveness, explaining how this crisis of legitimacy has threatened the economic and political stability of Europe and the project of European integration." - Journal of Economic Literature (Volume 59, no. 1)

"I have no hesitation in recommending this first-rate book to international and national policymakers, legal practitioners and scholars in the field of international financial law, international banking law and EU law ... The book is constructive, enlightening, innovative and reader-friendly." - Charles Ho Wang Mak, University of Glasgow, Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation

"In a European Union where the stronger Member States are the rulers over therulesthey themselves have established, more integration and more responsibilities of the common institutions are needed to increase their authority and legitimacy in the hearts and minds of the citizens. However, no less needed are greater national differentiation and decentralization to allow national identities to feel adequately recognized. Is it an impossible oxymoron?In this book the author brilliantly and persuasively demonstrates it is not." - Giuliano Amato, Former Prime Minister of Italy, Professor Emeritus, European University Institute, Florence

"For a political community to acquire and sustain legitimacy over time requires a mysterious and complex alchemy, all-the-more so when the community in question is made up of sovereign states. No one better than Vivien Schmidt combines the analytical brilliance and empirical insights to reveal the fragile nature of this alchemy through a systematic exploration of the institutional and policy ingredients of the Eurozone crisis. This book will undoubtedly become the bible for the study of European political economy and more broadly, of legitimacy beyond the state." - KalypsoNicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, Oxford University

"Vivien Schmidt's comprehensive analysis of the Euro Crisis trains bright light on Europe's crisis of trust.?Attempting to gain public trust simply by following the rules, Schmidt shows, is not enough.?For the euro to be legitimate, it must produce satisfactory outcomes, and Europe's citizens must feel that they are adequately represented in European decision making.Schmidt's thoughtful proposals for EU reform point to a pathway for meeting these challenges." - Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science, UC Berkeley

"In a brilliant, theoretically innovative and empirically comprehensive analysis, Vivien Schmidt diagnosesthe malaise of the eurozone as a legitimacy crisis arising from the European delusion that effective government could be built on rule-based legitimacy alone. Showing how counterproductive rules were destroying output legitimacy while input-responsiveness was blocked by conflicts of interests and ideology among governments, the highly original and convincing descriptive and normative analysis emphasizes the coping strategies of'technical actors'who, by bending the rules in responding to emergencies, are in effect also undermining the'throughput legitimacy'of European governing processes" - Fritz W.Scharpf, Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

"If your source of legitimacy comes from outputs - 'what have you done for me lately' - and those outputs turn negative, you turn to how you do things for legitimacy - 'sticking to the rules.' But as the EU discovered from 2011-2015, doing so will not solve an output problem. Instead, to solve that output problem EU governors increasingly 'reinterpreted the rules' while proclaiming that they were not doing so, which led publics to question their legitimacy still further.Vivien Schmidt describes this 'slippery slope' of declining legitimacy for the EU perfectly" - Mark Blyth, Professor of International Economics, Brown University

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