This thesis explores the role that civil society plays in European Union policy-making and its democratic effects. It seeks to find out how, why, where and what civil society in Wales engages and does not engage in European Union policy-making. A contextual political opportunity structure (POS) approach is employed to help understand the factors that shape this role. The thesis uses the European Convention as an empirical horizontal case study to compare the role of civil society in Wales in the Convention with civil society's role in more general EU policy-making. The thesis demonstrates that the POS shapes activity, but also that potential opportunities are underused and actor-specific variables shape participation. The effect on democracy is uneven, with shades of corporatism evident both in the kind of organisations involved and in how the POS structures access. The space for a more participatory democracy is limited, with the primacy of representative democracy being reasserted by the actual nature of civil society's participation and the views of policy-makers.
|Date of Award||Feb 2006|
|Supervisor||Andrew Thompson (Supervisor)|
- Civil society
- European Union countries
- Politics and government.