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EU (The) Timescape: Power Ad Tempus

State of the Art paper WP II / III Theories: Team 26 (D15b)
May 2007
Klaus Goetz

Time rules are central to the comparative analysis of political systems, yet they are rarely studied systematically. The fundamental time rule of democracy is power pro tempore, i.e. power delimited in time. By contrast, the timescape of the EU political system may be characterised as power ad tempus. Temporal structuring - notably doing things ‘at the right time’ - rather than delimitation is of fundamental importance (I). In characterising the EU timescape, the paper focuses on three dimensions. First, it examines the basic temporal challenges facing the EU political system. These include mobilisation; synchronisation; commitment and compliance over time; temporal autonomy; and, increasingly, democracy (II). Second, it indicates briefly the main time rules that the EU institutions follow. The temporal constraints of democracy have become more important at the EU level, but they do not and, arguably, cannot predominate (III). Third, the paper highlights why specific temporal challenges and time rules combine to encourage extensive recourse to temporal governing devices in EU governance (IV). The Conclusion makes a case for studying the EU timescape (V).
  1. Power Pro Tempore and Power Ad Tempus
  2. Temporal Challenges in EU Governance
  3. Institutional Clocks: A First Survey
  4. Power ad Tempus and Temporal Governing Devices
  5. Why the EU Timescape Matters References
Download ›/library/deliverables/D15b_Team26.pdf