Jan Beetz

Jan Pieter Beetz BSc, BA, MSc, MA (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Ph.D. (Exeter)

Discipline: Politics

Project Summary

Popular Sovereignty in Europe

The EU's democratic deficit remains a topical subject in public and academic debates. In my doctoral thesis, I contributed to this debate by creating a realist perspective on the fundamental role ideas of popular sovereignty continue to play in making sense of the EU's legitimacy. Bernard Williams' political thought informed a genealogical inquiry into the prevalent theories and institutions legitimating the modern state on the principle of popular sovereignty. Taking serious the contemporary European institutional context, I suggested that demoicratic popular sovereignty could offer as an attractive political value to make sense of the EU's legitimacy. This project received funding from both Exeter's politics department and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

Supervisory Team

Principle Supervisor: Dr Dario Castiglione

Second Supervisor: Professor Nicole Bolleyer

External Examiner: Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Internal Examiner: Dr. Robert Lamb

Wider Research Interests

My wider research interests concern two normative-theoretical puzzles with immediate relevance to contemporary politics in an age of globalisation:

The first puzzle is the search for an account of a legitimate democratic European polity. This emerging polity arguably impacts the legitimacy of the state, and it also raises questions about the democratic legitimacy of its transnational governance. On the one hand, I analyse the concepts applied in the academic and public debates. I am particularly intrigued by the tensions between different positions, and the impact of ideas on practises.  On the other hand, I am also very interested in the debates about the desirable institutional form of the Union. I explore the attractiveness and viability of federal, intergovernmental, regulatory, and most recently demoicratic models for the Union. My research objective is  the formulation of a realistic demoi-cratic theory of the EU-regime.

The second puzzle is the meaning of legitimacy in particular the role of popular sovereignty in modern politics. Modern political regimes, like the state, allegedly are experiencing a legitimacy crisis (or series thereof). Arguably, legitimacy is the normative concept of politics, because it justifies its core concept: power.  But, what do we mean when saying rule is (il)legitimate? Is it an empirical, normative or other type of claim? What standards do we have to determine legitimacy? And where from do we derive these standards? Are they necessarily democratic? I tend toward a holistic historicist position inspired by Wittgensteinian philosophers of meaning and the contemporary school of political realism. I  am interested in the fruitfulness of conceptual distinctions and substantive accounts found in both philosophy and the social sciences. My own research focuses on the importance of popular sovereignty in the legitimation of modern regimes.

Authored Publications/Reports

Beetz, J.P. (2010) 'Cosmopolitan Democracy with Purpose, but without Trust: Review of Daniele Archibugi's 'The Global Commonwealth of Citizens', Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, 3, 147-149

Beetz, J.P. () (2015) Stuck on the Rubicon? , Journal of European Public Policy, Vol 22: 1, 37-55

Beetz, J.P. (2012) Political Allegiance after European Integration: By Jonathan White, Political Studies Review, Vol. 10, 3, 461