Project Summary


The nation state has been the institutional mainstay of modern democracy. Today, this particular political form is challenged and may be transcended by something new. Can the state form as such be reconstituted in Europe, and if so, at what level? Are alternative forms more viable? RECON establishes three models of European democracy, and different options for democratic reconstitution in Europe are delineated and assessed:

  • Reframing the EU as a functional regulatory regime and reconstituting democracy at the national level
  • Establishing the EU as a multinational federal state
  • Developing a post-national Union with an explicit cosmopolitan imprint

RECON assesses which approach to democratization of the multilevel constellation that makes up the EU is most viable. It does so by investigating:


The aim is also to identify strategies through which democracy can be strengthened and propose measures for rectifying institutional and constitutional defects in different policy areas. RECON’s research thus brings forth knowledge of great relevance for the ongoing process of reforming European and national institutions.


RECON is a large-scale European research project with a duration of five years (2007-2011), which is initiated and coordinated by ARENA – Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo. The consortium consists of 20 universities and research institutions across Europe as well as New Zealand.

RECON coordinator: Prof. Erik O. Eriksen

Download the RECON leaflet (pdf)


Executive summary – first period (2007) (pdf)

Executive summary – second period (2008) (pdf)

Executive summary – third period (2009) (pdf)


See RECON’s Press Room for project presentations in various languages, RECON in the media etc.