Sociology Index


Democratic Deficit is the gap between the potential democratic control exercised by citizens of a nation and the actual amount of democratic control available because of the transfer of decision making to non-elected agencies. Many social scientists are of the belief that this democratic deficit has increased substantially because of free trade agreements and the deregulation of corporate activity. Democratic deficit has also increased because of globalization and the growth of the multinational corporation which is now beyond the ability of any one nation to control and the growth of the super bureaucracy designed to coordinate cross-border activities. A democratic deficit occurs when genuinely democratic organizations or institutions fall short of fulfilling the principles of democracy.

Drafted by Richard Corbett the phrase democratic deficit is cited as first being used by the Young European Federalists in their Manifesto in 1977. The phrase democratic deficit was also used by David Marquand in 1979, referring to the then European Economic Community. Since David Marquand coined his famous phrase 'democratic deficit' to describe the functioning of the European Community, the debate has raged about the extent and content of this deficit.

One of the most frequent topics on which information is requested is the democratic deficit. What is it? The democratic deficit is a phrase used for the fact that many decisions that were formerly taken by national governments, responsible to national parliaments, are now taken at a higher level, where national parliaments are no longer able to influence them. - irishtimes.

The Democratic Deficit in the European Union - Much Ado about Nothing? 
Christophe Crombez, University of Leuven, Belgium, and Stanford University, USA.
This paper studies the democratic deficit in the European Union (EU). It examines what constitutes a democratic deficit, analyzes whether there is one in the EU, and offers suggestions for a solution. I also find, however, that a democratic deficit may exist owing to a lack of transparency and an excess of delegation in the legislative process.

Models of Democracy - Elite Attitudes and the Democratic Deficit in the European Union 
Richard S. Katz, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. Most current debate about the democratic deficit equates democracy with party government and popular direction of policy (popular sovereignty). Alternative conceptions of democracy, pluralist or veto-group liberalism, are more consistent with European political and social circumstances and with EU institutions.

Culture lag and democratic deficit in Ireland: Or, ‘Dat's outside de terms of d'agreement’ 
J. P. O'Carroll, University College, Cork, Ireland. The main characteristics of the institutional context of policy making in Ireland are examined and their more latent consequences for community development delineated. The emphasis on partnership at all levels, on nation and, ironically, on community, is shown to contribute more to the legitimation of the state than to the cause of community development. This has created difficulties in responding adequately to new policy issues such as redistribution and immigration.

ICANN and the Concept of Democratic Deficit - DAN HUNTER, University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 36. Abstract: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an institution besieged. It has endeavored to be democratic but its attempts to do so have been disastrous. The typical explanation for this is that the problem is with ICANN: it fails to meet its democratic obligations.

Abstract: Without radically upsetting the institutional and political balance of the Union, the Commission's White Paper on Governance, published 25 July 2001, proposes a new basis for the EU's institutional legitimacy. However, this conceptual re-foundation gives rise to new and fundamental questions.