Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in...
Speaker: Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
Although ‘Brexit’ and the refugee crisis have grabbed the headlines, the Eurozone crisis continues to be of major concern for the European Union. The Eurozone’s comparatively poor economic performance and increasingly volatile politics have combined with the governance processes focused on ‘governing by the rules and ruling by the numbers’ to generate a crisis of legitimacy. Prof. Schmidt theorizes about this legitimacy crisis in terms of ‘output’ policies, ‘input’ politics, and ‘throughput’ processes. She argues that in response to such problems, EU institutional actors—ECB, Council, Commission, and EP—all incrementally reinterpreted the rules and recalibrated the numbers ‘by stealth,’ that is, without admitting it in their public discourse. To theorize about such processes of ideational innovation and discursive legitimation during the Eurozone crisis, Prof. Schmidt uses the neo-institutionalist framework of discursive institutionalism.