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International Relations and the European Union

International Relations and the European Union (4th edn)

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker-Kormoss
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date: 12 July 2024

p. 1317. Democracy and the Populist Challengelocked

p. 1317. Democracy and the Populist Challengelocked

  • Christopher Lord

Abstract

This chapter starts by asking a key question: how far is populism inside and outside the European Union (EU) a challenge to the EU as an international actor? The chapter argues that the democratic legitimacy of the Union’s external powers and behaviours depend on assumptions about its own internal political order and international order that are especially vulnerable to populism. The chapter highlights four populist threats to democratic politics. It then moves on to talk about the standards of democratic legitimacy that the EU will need to satisfy where it acts internationally. It then argues that the forms of democratic politics threatened by populism are precisely those important to the EU and to the international roles available to it.

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