Europe's (Euro) Crisis of Legitimacy

Hosted by the Department of Government

Online public event


Professor Vivien Schmidt

Professor Vivien Schmidt


Professor Jonathan Hopkin

Professor Jonathan Hopkin

In this lecture, Vivien Schmidt will define democracy and legitimacy, discuss it's split-level nature in the EU and detail the processes of Eurozone governance that led to deteriorating economic performance and the rise of populism.

Europe’s crisis of legitimacy stems from the European Union’s ‘governing by rules and ruling by numbers’ during the Eurozone crisis. Rules-based governance focused on austerity and structural reform played havoc with the Eurozone economy while fuelling political discontent. Subsequent reinterpretation of the rules ‘by stealth’ may have improved performance but it did nothing to change the suboptimal rules or to address increasing Eurosceptic politicisation. Even though by 2015 EU actors began acknowledging their rules reinterpretations and doing more to improve the situation, the damage had been done. Legitimacy remained in question, understood not only in terms of economic performance (output) and political responsiveness (input) but also the quality of the governance procedures (throughput).

Vivien Schmidt (@vivienaschmidt) is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration; Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University. She was Founding Director of Boston University's Centre for the Study of Europe.

You can order the book, Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone, from the Oxford University Press website.

Jonathan Hopkin (@jrhopkin) is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Government and European Institute at LSE.

The Department of Government (@LSEGovernment) is a world-leading centre for study and research in politics and government.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEEuroCrisis

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A podcast of this event is available to download from Europe's (Euro) Crisis of Legitimacy.

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