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Volume 11 (2015): Issue 1 (April 2015)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 11 (2015): Issue 1 (April 2015)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

6 Articles
access type Open Access

Newcomer, Normal Player or Regional Leader? Perceptions of Poland in the EU

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 11 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

This study analyses the status of the new EU member states and, in particular, Poland as it is perceived by the representatives of the older EU members. On a theoretical level, it argues that the transformation of the newcomers into “normal players” or even “regional leaders” is dependent on five specific conditions that each of these countries must fulfil. These range from (1) simple compliance with the EU’s basic norms and (2) a sufficient level of orientation in EU decision-making to (3) establishment of the country’s unique policy expertise, (4) the ability to create winning coalitions and finally and above all (5) a willingness to defend the interests of the Union as a whole. On an empirical level, we draw on an extensive set of interviews with diplomats belonging to the permanent representation of the old member states in Brussels. Based on these data, we conclude that (1) Poland has already established itself as a normal EU player fully comparable with the older member states. In terms of the country’s leadership status, (2) Poland has also moved to the position of frontrunner among the new member states. However, the country still fails in at least one criterion: (regional) leadership. This precludes it from becoming a fully respected and leading state in the EU.

Keywords

  • European Union
  • Poland
  • new member states
  • perceptions
  • leader
access type Open Access

Euroscepticism: A Mobilising Appeal? Not for Everyone!

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 31 - 50

Abstract

Abstract

This study examines the changing role of the EU agenda in Slovak politics. It identifies old and newly emerging faces of Euroscepticism and compares them with general theoretical concepts. Furthermore, it asks to what extent Eurosceptical appeals mobilised Slovak voters in the European Parliament (EP) elections of 2014 and whether Eurosceptical parties represent a meaningful electoral choice for voters. In the past, many analyses have provided evidence that the European agenda is not salient and the EU political arena is perceived as one where there is less at stake. Nevertheless, the economic crisis and so-called Greek bailout were followed by a rise in Euroscepticism and EU-criticism. In some EU countries, this enhanced voter mobilisation in the EP elections. In others – including Slovakia – we saw not only a significant decline in electoral turnout but relatively poor results for Eurosceptical parties as well. This study identifies the factors behind abstention and explores voting patterns in this specific second-order election in Slovakia. Moreover, it investigates how the parties are perceived in terms of their positions on EU integration and the potential impact on voter choices. I conclude that the EU agenda is still not the deciding factor for voters even in the case of EP elections. Eurosceptical appeals are less mobilising in this context, and the public sees no differences among parties’ stances on the EU.

Keywords

  • European Parliament elections
  • Euroscepticism
  • Eurosceptical appeals
  • electoral turnout
  • abstention factors
  • party and public positions on the EU agenda
access type Open Access

Corruption Perception in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 51 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

This paper is focused on the issue of corruption perception in the Czech Republic. After introducing the general framework for corruption perception in post-communist countries, this paper uses the Czech Republic as an example of the ways in which corruption is perceived, the areas Czech citizens feel are most plagued by corruption, and the ways in which corruption perception has transformed in terms of post-communist developments. This paper points out the differences in corruption perception among Czech citizens, the media and political parties and their representatives. The conclusion of the paper attempts to answer the question of how corruption perception has affected the overall perception of the democratic regime in the Czech Republic. It also asks questions regarding how this has influenced the evaluation of democracy and the relationship between Czech citizens and political institutions, including individual political parties.

Keywords

  • corruption
  • corruption perception
  • CPI
  • Czech Republic
  • attitudes towards regime
access type Open Access

Employer Organisations and Business Groups in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 75 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a case study focusing on employer organisations and business organisations in the Czech Republic. In legal terms, employer organisations are a specific type of interest group with special regimes of registration and record keeping. Unlike business groups, they are endowed with certain privileges and, in particular, can participate in collective bargaining. This study analyses the relations between these two types of groups. The database originates from a questionnaire-based survey undertaken in 2010 among 91 groups representing businesses and employers. The analysis focuses on the relationship between a group’s registration as an employer organisation and its orientation towards employer and business interests. It also investigates similarities between the two organisation types in terms of secondary organisation and strategies used. The analysis suggests that the differences between these two types are minimal and that the possibility of participating in collective bargaining and in tripartite counselling bodies remains the only relevant distinction. This holds true even when we take into account these groups’ self-perceived primary role, i.e. defending their members as employer or as business organisations.

Keywords

  • Business Groups
  • Czech Republic
  • Employer Organisations
  • Interest Groups
  • Tripartite
  • Membership Types
access type Open Access

Epistocracy and democratic epistemology

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 91 - 112

Abstract

Abstract

Epistocracy, the rule by the experts or educated, poses a significant challenge to authentic democratic rule. Epistocrats typically reason from the premise, “experts have knowledge of political truths” to the conclusion, “experts should have the authority to rule.” There may be powerful moral reasons for thinking that the inference is fallacious. Invoking a public reason standard of acceptability, David Estlund makes a powerful argument of this sort. I argue that Estlund’s argument against epistocracy overlooks democratic epistemology, which can and should be utilized to strengthen the epistemic merits of a democratic rule. I therefore examine whether democratic democracy’s epistemic value can rest on a formal epistemic model. The inadequacy of the formal epistemic model leads us to defend democratic epistemology differently. This will be defended in two ways. The first step will be to cast doubt into the epistemic merits of expert rule in two ways. First, experts sometimes do not have access to privileged information of citizens who bear the consequences of expert decisions. Second, experts themselves can be biased. I argue that democratic deliberation can offset those two disadvantages of expert rule. The second step will be to examine the epistemic values of inclusive democratic rule.

Keywords

  • Epistemic democracy
  • epistocracy
  • epistemic proceduralism
  • David Estlund
  • collective wisdom
  • democratic epistemology
access type Open Access

Public Attitudes towards Monetary Integration in Seven New Member States of the EU

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 115 - 130

Abstract

Abstract

Existing work on euro support has provided insights into the dynamics of preferences, but most of these studies focus on older member states that already form an integral part of the Eurozone. This article inquires into public attitudes towards monetary integration in new member states of the EU: Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Focusing on the cross-sectional variation of preferences, it applies multilevel logit regression to test three perspectives – economic, conceptual and political – using individual-level survey data and NUTS-2 regional statistical data from seven countries for 2013. One of its novel findings is that beliefs such as the one that European Monetary Union (EMU) adherence will cause a spiral in economic inflation are powerful disincentives to euro support in these countries.

Keywords

  • public support
  • euro introduction
  • inflation fears
  • Eurobarometer
  • Eurozone
6 Articles
access type Open Access

Newcomer, Normal Player or Regional Leader? Perceptions of Poland in the EU

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 11 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

This study analyses the status of the new EU member states and, in particular, Poland as it is perceived by the representatives of the older EU members. On a theoretical level, it argues that the transformation of the newcomers into “normal players” or even “regional leaders” is dependent on five specific conditions that each of these countries must fulfil. These range from (1) simple compliance with the EU’s basic norms and (2) a sufficient level of orientation in EU decision-making to (3) establishment of the country’s unique policy expertise, (4) the ability to create winning coalitions and finally and above all (5) a willingness to defend the interests of the Union as a whole. On an empirical level, we draw on an extensive set of interviews with diplomats belonging to the permanent representation of the old member states in Brussels. Based on these data, we conclude that (1) Poland has already established itself as a normal EU player fully comparable with the older member states. In terms of the country’s leadership status, (2) Poland has also moved to the position of frontrunner among the new member states. However, the country still fails in at least one criterion: (regional) leadership. This precludes it from becoming a fully respected and leading state in the EU.

Keywords

  • European Union
  • Poland
  • new member states
  • perceptions
  • leader
access type Open Access

Euroscepticism: A Mobilising Appeal? Not for Everyone!

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 31 - 50

Abstract

Abstract

This study examines the changing role of the EU agenda in Slovak politics. It identifies old and newly emerging faces of Euroscepticism and compares them with general theoretical concepts. Furthermore, it asks to what extent Eurosceptical appeals mobilised Slovak voters in the European Parliament (EP) elections of 2014 and whether Eurosceptical parties represent a meaningful electoral choice for voters. In the past, many analyses have provided evidence that the European agenda is not salient and the EU political arena is perceived as one where there is less at stake. Nevertheless, the economic crisis and so-called Greek bailout were followed by a rise in Euroscepticism and EU-criticism. In some EU countries, this enhanced voter mobilisation in the EP elections. In others – including Slovakia – we saw not only a significant decline in electoral turnout but relatively poor results for Eurosceptical parties as well. This study identifies the factors behind abstention and explores voting patterns in this specific second-order election in Slovakia. Moreover, it investigates how the parties are perceived in terms of their positions on EU integration and the potential impact on voter choices. I conclude that the EU agenda is still not the deciding factor for voters even in the case of EP elections. Eurosceptical appeals are less mobilising in this context, and the public sees no differences among parties’ stances on the EU.

Keywords

  • European Parliament elections
  • Euroscepticism
  • Eurosceptical appeals
  • electoral turnout
  • abstention factors
  • party and public positions on the EU agenda
access type Open Access

Corruption Perception in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 51 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

This paper is focused on the issue of corruption perception in the Czech Republic. After introducing the general framework for corruption perception in post-communist countries, this paper uses the Czech Republic as an example of the ways in which corruption is perceived, the areas Czech citizens feel are most plagued by corruption, and the ways in which corruption perception has transformed in terms of post-communist developments. This paper points out the differences in corruption perception among Czech citizens, the media and political parties and their representatives. The conclusion of the paper attempts to answer the question of how corruption perception has affected the overall perception of the democratic regime in the Czech Republic. It also asks questions regarding how this has influenced the evaluation of democracy and the relationship between Czech citizens and political institutions, including individual political parties.

Keywords

  • corruption
  • corruption perception
  • CPI
  • Czech Republic
  • attitudes towards regime
access type Open Access

Employer Organisations and Business Groups in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 75 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a case study focusing on employer organisations and business organisations in the Czech Republic. In legal terms, employer organisations are a specific type of interest group with special regimes of registration and record keeping. Unlike business groups, they are endowed with certain privileges and, in particular, can participate in collective bargaining. This study analyses the relations between these two types of groups. The database originates from a questionnaire-based survey undertaken in 2010 among 91 groups representing businesses and employers. The analysis focuses on the relationship between a group’s registration as an employer organisation and its orientation towards employer and business interests. It also investigates similarities between the two organisation types in terms of secondary organisation and strategies used. The analysis suggests that the differences between these two types are minimal and that the possibility of participating in collective bargaining and in tripartite counselling bodies remains the only relevant distinction. This holds true even when we take into account these groups’ self-perceived primary role, i.e. defending their members as employer or as business organisations.

Keywords

  • Business Groups
  • Czech Republic
  • Employer Organisations
  • Interest Groups
  • Tripartite
  • Membership Types
access type Open Access

Epistocracy and democratic epistemology

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 91 - 112

Abstract

Abstract

Epistocracy, the rule by the experts or educated, poses a significant challenge to authentic democratic rule. Epistocrats typically reason from the premise, “experts have knowledge of political truths” to the conclusion, “experts should have the authority to rule.” There may be powerful moral reasons for thinking that the inference is fallacious. Invoking a public reason standard of acceptability, David Estlund makes a powerful argument of this sort. I argue that Estlund’s argument against epistocracy overlooks democratic epistemology, which can and should be utilized to strengthen the epistemic merits of a democratic rule. I therefore examine whether democratic democracy’s epistemic value can rest on a formal epistemic model. The inadequacy of the formal epistemic model leads us to defend democratic epistemology differently. This will be defended in two ways. The first step will be to cast doubt into the epistemic merits of expert rule in two ways. First, experts sometimes do not have access to privileged information of citizens who bear the consequences of expert decisions. Second, experts themselves can be biased. I argue that democratic deliberation can offset those two disadvantages of expert rule. The second step will be to examine the epistemic values of inclusive democratic rule.

Keywords

  • Epistemic democracy
  • epistocracy
  • epistemic proceduralism
  • David Estlund
  • collective wisdom
  • democratic epistemology
access type Open Access

Public Attitudes towards Monetary Integration in Seven New Member States of the EU

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Page range: 115 - 130

Abstract

Abstract

Existing work on euro support has provided insights into the dynamics of preferences, but most of these studies focus on older member states that already form an integral part of the Eurozone. This article inquires into public attitudes towards monetary integration in new member states of the EU: Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Focusing on the cross-sectional variation of preferences, it applies multilevel logit regression to test three perspectives – economic, conceptual and political – using individual-level survey data and NUTS-2 regional statistical data from seven countries for 2013. One of its novel findings is that beliefs such as the one that European Monetary Union (EMU) adherence will cause a spiral in economic inflation are powerful disincentives to euro support in these countries.

Keywords

  • public support
  • euro introduction
  • inflation fears
  • Eurobarometer
  • Eurozone

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