10 Pages


The future of democracy within the European Union’s system of multilevel governance is a much-debated problem. There is still no solution in sight. While the intellectual debate is searching for a democracy in the multilevel system, which is strongly built along the lines of national representative government, a form of multilevel governance that features strong elements of liberalism is actually evolving. The latter increasingly gets the upper hand of the republican and representative traditions of national government. This is what can be identified as European governmentality in the sense outlined by Foucault (2007, 2008) in his studies on the history of governmentality. Instead of engaging in wishful thinking, a realistic sociological analysis must aim to grasp the main features of that kind of liberal governance, to understand its meaning, to explain why this kind of governance is emerging in Europe and to point out the conflicts that come about with the turn from national representative government to European liberal governance. Within this framework, there is a drift towards the type of liberal democracy.