'To the much studied and contested subject of EU legitimacy this book brings a rare historical depth and a rich analysis of the shifting discursive strategies used by the different political actors to legitimate the EU's existence and institutions, or to challenge them in turn. It helps put the current crisis of EU legitimacy into a much broader perspective.'
David Beetham, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds, UK and Honorary Fellow, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK.
With the Eurocrisis and its aftermath, the struggle for legitimacy in EU politics has never been so acute. In this pathbreaking book, Claudia Schrag Sternberg takes us back through 50 years of competing narratives aimed at justifying the European project. By bringing together normative theory and empirical data in novel ways, the book sheds new light on the various ways in which the standards of legitimate political order for the EU have been re-imagined over time and continue to be today. A must read for anyone interested in EU affairs.
- Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
'There is no shortage of scholarly works on the legitimacy of European institutions. But this book is unlike any other: it does not try to offer one more normative approach, or to review shifts in public perceptions of the EU. Rather, it offers a fine-grained analysis of the legitimation strategies pursued by European institutions and political leaders, and the debates they have given rise to in France and Germany. Because of the new light it sheds, this much-needed contribution will enable readers to get a clearer perspective on an issue that remains central for the future of Europe.'
- Renaud Dehousse, Director, Centre d'études européennes [OR: European Studies Centre], Sciences Po, Paris
'The Struggle for EU Legitimacy offers a highly illuminating analysis of the production and reception of political ideas. Through the close empirical study of contested claims to legitimacy, Schrag Sternberg reveals not just the evolution of a core political concept, but the shape, the richness, and also the brittleness, of the intellectual foundations of today's EU. A very accomplished work.'
- Jonathan White, Reader in European Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science