Author Archive

Emmanuel Mahieux

Emmanuel Mahieux is reading for an MPhil in European Politics at the University of Oxford and is a member of Saint Antony's college. His thesis focus is on European economic coordination. He holds a BA in Humanities from the lycée Henri IV in Paris with a major in History.

Dr Cristina Parau, Department Lecturer in European Politics and Societies at Oxford University, recently edited a special issue of the journal Representation. This issue focuses on the phenomenon of judicial activism in the political sphere. It brings together scholars from different disciplines that hold different perspectives on the judicialisation of politics. It focuses on the contrasts and complementarities of law and politics as modes of democratic representation. According to Dr Parau, “this special issue seeks to advance our understanding of the judicialisation of politics by bringing together a diverse group of scholars who take different perspectives and apply different methods to investigating the phenomenon and and its impact on representative democracy. The transfer of policy-making power from popularly elected representatives to a judicial elite would seem to weaken democracy in a quite straightforward, zero-sum way, contributing to Europe’s already destabilising democratic deficit. On this account, a renewal of parliamentarism is the only effectual and legitimate cure. On the other hand, ‘representative democracy’ has been criticised since the eighteenth century as elite rather than popular rule; Aristotle classified it as ‘oligarchy’. Representation has defects that might be remedied by judicial intervention. Some scholars have suggested that judicialisation provides a venue for the more active participation of citizens marginalised by the failures of representation; while others even see in judges a form of representativeness with unique properties. The articles in this Special Issue probe these accounts.” I recently asked her a few questions about the project.