Organized civil society and democratic legitimacy in the European Union.
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GREENWOOD, J., 2007. Organized civil society and democratic legitimacy in the European Union. British Journal of Political Science, 37 (2), pp. 333-357.
Structural limitations in models of representative democracy have enhanced the space for other mechanisms of legitimacy in the European Union, including participatory models in which organized civil society interests are significant players. To some observers, such actors are likely only to aggravate already problematic input legitimacy. A range of less hostile approaches also prevail, from a neutral standpoint through to those sharing the perspective of EU policy practice where such actors are seen as a complementary mechanism of democratic input. Whilst concerns about the impact of asymmetries of power between different types of organised civil society interests arise as potential issues in any democratic setting, a particularly vigorous neo-pluralist regime in which EU institutions actively create and develop as well as empower citizen interest groups effectively mitigate these asymmetries in an EU context, although can give rise to paradoxical tensions of elitism.