Demokratibegrebet i EF-debatten 1972

Andreas Melson Gregersen & Morten Steinmejer Nikolajsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This report examines the debate prior to the referendum in 1972 regarding the Danish membership of the European Communities. The study is based on the two Danish parties, SF and Venstre, and the data used mainly consists of the TV and radio debates broadcasted by DR in September 1972. The focal point of the analysis is on the parties’ use(s) and understanding(s) of the concept of democracy. With focus on the concept the study draws on Reinhart Koselleck and Quentin Skinner, primarily due to Koselleck’s understanding of the formal categories “experience” and “expectation” and Skinners rhetorical view on conceptual use and change. These analytical tools help concluding that the concept of democracy, by reference to its counter-concept, is mainly being used as a strategic weapon in the debate. When SF argues against entry into the EC they use their understanding of democracy to point out the lack of democracy in the EC. Venstre re-describes the EC as democratic by pointing out the democratic elements in the EC while in the same process transferring the undemocratic aspect from the EC to the left wing. The difference in use between the two parties refers to a subtle difference in the understandings of the concept of democracy. While SF’s understanding is based on participatory democracy, Venstre’s understanding is based on representative democracy.

UddannelserHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato11 jun. 2012
VejledereMichael Harbsmeier


  • demokrati
  • EF
  • begreb
  • 1972
  • september-debat
  • Skinner
  • Koselleck