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Title: The agricultural advisory committees & their role in the legitimisation of European Commission activities in the European agricultural policy sector
Author: Heard-Laureote, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0000 8170 5432
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis investigates the contribution of interest groups to European governance. The central topic here is the question of if and how interest groups may contribute to the democratisation of the European polity, both through participation and expertise. Literature focusing on the European Union’s (EU) so-called “democratic deficit” has largely centred on issues of territorial representation and citizen’s rights while literature on EU interest group participation tends towards the descriptive. Consequently, there is a particular demand for research that addresses issues of legitimacy and procedural aspects of democracy linked to functional participation in policymaking. Rather than focusing on European interest intermediation in general, this study homes in on a particular institutionalised form of functional participation. The contribution that institutions of functional participation can make to rolling-back the democratic deficit by providing a potential additional source of legitimacy in a specific sector of the European polity, notably European agricultural policymaking is examined. The core argument is that for such institutionalised forms of functional participation to provide such an additional source of legitimacy and contribute to participatory democracy, they must themselves be considered legitimate. The thesis builds on previous studies related to the legitimacy of associative actors and their particular legitimacy and knowledge. It also seeks to understand the potential of this type of representation and its capacity to diminish, at least partially, the democratic deficit. The theoretical framework developed is institutional legitimacy. Five political principles are used to determine the AACs’ institutional legitimacy: representativeness, deliberative capacity, credibility and influence on decision-making and transparency. As an organizational framework, the thesis’s empirical investigation searched for indicators of limited legitimacy according to these principles. The indicators identified are classified as legal, cultural or resource-linked. The indicators revealed confirm the sub-hypotheses whereby: the AACs’ legitimacy is undermined by their lack of 1) representativeness, 2) deliberative capacity, 3) credibility and influence on CAP decision-making and 4) transparency. The substantiation of these subhypotheses answers the analysis’s research question and corroborates its core hypothesis, namely: legal, cultural and resource-linked indicators signal that the AACs are not entirely legitimate institutions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology