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The European Union stands before a constitutional moment. While some deny the need for a constitution and others want a familiar federal form, I argue that one of the main goals of the constitutional convention ought to be to make the European Union more democratic. The central question is: what sort of democracy is suggested by some of the more novel aspects of European integration? This question demands a normative standard by which to evaluate the realization of democracy in transnational polities. Along republican lines, the proper standard is nondomination. With this normative framework in mind, the problem that the constitution has to solve is juridification, or the possibility of legal domination where there is no unified sovereignty. The solution to this problem of legal domination requires that the constitution institute a reflexive legal order best realized in a deliberative federalism appropriate to a polycentric and diverse polity. Finally, the institutions of this federalism ought also to be characterized through their distinctive form of inquiry, which, borrowing from Gerald Ruggie, I call ‘multiperspectival’. In a transnational polity with multiple demoi, such a democracy is best realized through dispersed and plural forms of authority and in a differentiated institutional structure anchored in a reflexive constitution.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885104043586
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