Normative Issues of Regional and Global Governance


Under "normative issues" we understand primarily legitimacy and identity as eminently political issues that may emerge in regional associations and polities. We want

  • to provide redefined categories as well as case studies for understanding the interplay of legal, technocratic (efficiency of institutions) and substantial legitimacy
  • to provide a raster of the issues (related to internal and external security, development aid, large-scale environmental policy) that affect the self-image of the EU and the way as it is mirrored abroad, also in the perspective of opinion surveys focused on this channel of identity formation;
  • to promote intensive interaction between political philosophy and psychology, communication and public opinion research as a tool to watch structure and evolution of the regional public sphere.

Description of work


The EU is a privileged laboratory for investigating how a classical issue like legitimacy evolves in the unprecedented environment of regionalism, far away from a technocratic-reductionist sense.

We want to look at three different, but interrelated aspects.

  • The legal or formal legitimacy of regional associations, also including the model of government and in particular the role of Parliaments;
  • The "output" legitimacy arising from the efficiency of common policies and institutions;
  • the evolving ability of regional groupings to justify their existence and to claim allegiance from citizens and member states on the basis of the political, social and civic values embodied in its institutions (e.g. in the EU Constitution) and basic policies: substantial legitimacy.

Political Identity

While the substantive elements (the "contents") of this dimension overlap with those of legitimacy, regional political identity entails structural questions of its own:- the essential distinctions between political, cultural and social identity, the lack of which makes the identity debate confuse and needlessly holistic;

  • the chances for regional identity to develop as a post-national and post-modern feature;
  • the impact of Central and Eastern Enlargement on the EU's political identity;
  • the chances for regional identity to develop as an effective alternative to normative cosmopolitanism or to be its complement;
  • political identity as a main feature of the public sphere. Relevant in this respect is also the notion of trans-national civil society.

Workshop Reports and Minutes

Project Coordinators

Project Partners