Erik Oddvar Eriksen

Professor and Director
Image of Erik Oddvar Eriksen
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Erik Oddvar Eriksen is the Director of ARENA and Professor of Political Science.

Academic Interests

Erik Oddvar Eriksen’s main research fields are political theory, public policy and European integration. His interest in legitimate rule has led to publications on democracy in the EU, governance and leadership, functions and limits of the state, deliberative democracy, trust, regional politics, security politics and the welfare state.


Eriksen has been a professor at the University of Tromsø, at the University of Bergen, professor II at Centre of Professional Studies, The University College of Oslo and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Aalborg.

Positions held

Erik Oddvar Eriksen is a member of the research board of the Research Programme on Democracy at the University of Oslo since 2008.

He is also a member of the board for scientific advice at Stockholm’s Centre for research on the public sector (SCORE) since 1998.

In addition, he is member of the editorial boards of The Open Political Science Journal, Norsk Statsvitenskapelig Tidsskrift; Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, Ethics & Global Politics and he is co-editor of the series Routledge Studies on Democratising Europe.


Erik Oddvar Eriksen is the research director of the Norwegian Research Council-funded five-year project EuroTrans - The Transformation and Sustainability of European Political Order.

He is also the co-director of NORCONE – The Norwegian Constitution in a Changing European Context.

Erik Oddvar Eriksen was the scientific coordinator of the EU funded Integrated Project RECON - Reconstituting Democracy in Europe, a joint research project between 20 partners in 12 European countries. The project ran from 2007 through 2011 and was financed by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme. In addition, he was chairing the 1st work-package on the theoretical framework of the RECON project.

Eriksen also held the scientific responsibility for CIDEL - Citizenship and Democratic Legitimacy in the European Union, which was a research project between 10 partners in six European countries, and was financed by the Fifth Framework Programme (2003-2005).

Curriculum vitae (PDF)

Tags: Democracy, Political theory, Governance, Legitimacy, Public policy, European public sphere, European integration, Institutions, European Union


Selected books

This book draws upon leading scholars and practitioners from the RECON project (Reconstituting Democracy in Europe) to frame and analyse a range of institutional realms and policy fields, including constitutionalisation, representative developments, gender politics, civil society and public sphere, identity, and security and globalisation. Drawing together these strands, the book questions whether EU politics require a new theory of democracy, and evaluates the relationship between union and state, and the possible future of post-national democracy. Lucid and accessible, this book is at the forefront of the intellectual debate over the character of the EU, presenting research, theory and analysis on a critical political issue of our time.

This book deals with the puzzle that democracy, which hitherto has only existed on the nation state level, is now expected of the European Union. What does this mean in theoretical terms, can it at all be realized, and if so; how far has reform process of the Union brought it along this developmental path? The book contributes to democratic theory under conditions of globalization and complex interdependence as well as to the understanding of the EU from a democratic point of view. The key argument of the book is that the political system of domination already in place at the European level requires legitimation – directly from the European citizens – and not only indirect from the Member States. This can only be achieved by making the EU into a democratic polity.

The book deals with four themes which make up the current 'constitutional crisis' of the EU, and which together constitute the unfinished agenda of the European integration process: 1. The problem of the rule of law in a context of governance beyond the nation state, 2. the problem of the social deficit of the Union, 3. the problem of identity and collective memories and 4. the problem of institutionalizing post-national democracy.

The EU has developed beyond a mere market and is more than an international organization. But is it becoming a state or something less or different? Making the European Polity sets out a reflexive approach to integration and asks whether the EU develops into a regulatory entity, a value-based polity or a rights-based post-national union. On the basis of in-depth analyses the authors find that the Union has moved in the direction of a post-national union.

  • Eriksen, E. O., Fossum, J. E. and Menéndez, A. J.(eds) (2004) Developing a Constitution for Europe, London: Routledge.

The European Union is currently in the midst of a comprehensive process of reform and the aim of this book is to adddress the challenge of forging a legitimate Constitution for the EU. The authors aim to clarify the constitutional status of the EU, to take stock of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and Convention on the Future of Europe as vehicles to forster and create a European constitution

  • Eriksen, E. O. and Weigård, J. (2003) Understanding Habermas: Communicative action and deliberative democracy, London: Continuum Press.


Selected book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • Eriksen, E. O., A. Molander and H. Grimen (2012) 'Professional Discretion and Accountability in the Welfare State', Journal of Applied Philosophy 29(3).
  • Eriksen, E. O. and J. E. Fossum (2012) 'Represenation through Deliberation - the European Case', Constellations 19(2).
  • Eriksen, E.  O. and J. E. Fossum (2011) 'Bringing European democracy back in - Or how to read the German Constitutional Court’s Lisbon Treaty ruling', European Law Journal 17(2).
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2010) 'Manipulasjon, forhandling eller argumentasjon?', in R. Slagstad (ed.) Elster og sirenenes sang, Oslo: Pax forlag (with a reply from J. Elster).
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2009) 'The EU: A Cosmopolitan Vanguard?', Global Jurist Advances 9(1).
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2008) 'Norges demokratiske underskudd', Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 25(4).
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2007) ’Deliberation und demokratische Legitimität in der EU - zwischen Konsens und Kompromiss’, in P. Niesen and B. Herborth (eds) Anarchie der kommunikativen Freiheit: Jürgen Habermas und die Theorie der internationale Politik, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
  • Eriksen, E. O. and Menéndez, A. J. (2006) Arguing Fundamental Rights, Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Eriksen, E. O. ‘The EU - A Cosmopolitan Polity?’, Journal of European Public Policy 13(2).
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2005) ‘An Emerging European Public Sphere’, European Journal of Social Theory 8(4).
  • Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. (2004) ‘Europe in Search of Legitimacy: Strategies of Legitimation Assessed’, International Political Science Review 25(4).
  • Eriksen, E. O., Fossum, J. E. and Menéndez, A. J. (eds) (2003) The Chartering of Europe, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Eriksen, E. O. (2002) ‘Why a Charter of Fundamental Human Rights in the EU?’, Ratio Juris 16(3).
  • Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. (2002) ‘Democracy through strong publics in the European Union’, Journal of Common Market Studies 40(3).
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2015). Despoiling Norwegian democracy, In  The European Union's non-members: Independence under hegemony?.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138922457.  Chapter 5.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2015). Europeisk demokrati - er det mulig?, I:  Demokrati - historien og ideene.  Dreyer Forlag A/S.  ISBN 9788282651219.  Kapittel.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2015). The Eurozone Crisis in Light of the EU's Normativity, In  The Future of Europe: Democracy, Legitimacy and Justice after the Euro Crisis.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.  ISBN 9781783481132.  Kapittel 14.  s 247 - 262
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2015). Introduction: Asymmetry and the problem of dominance, In  The European Union's non-members: Independence under hegemony?.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138922457.  Chapter 1.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2015). The European Union's Non-Members: Independence under Hegemony?, In  The European Union's non-members: Independence under hegemony?.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138922457.  Chapter 13.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Folkestyrets vanmakt eller en selvbeskadiget demokratisk prosedyre?, I:  Det norske paradoks: Om Norges forhold til Den europeiske union.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-02100-3.  Kapittel 2.  s 23 - 41
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Gründe als Explanans: Ûber Deliberation und das Problem der Unbestimmtheit, I:  Deliberative Demokratie in der Diskussion.  Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft.  ISBN 9783848715435.  Kapittel 4.  s 103 - 140
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Kommunikativ ledelse - fra mistillid til tillid, I:  Ledelse og organisation: Forandringer og udfordringer.  Samfundslitteratur.  ISBN 9788759316580.  Kapittel 9.  s 249 - 276
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Reflexive Constitutionalism in Crisis , In  Deliberative Kritik-Kritik der Deliberation: Festschrift für Rainer Schmalz-Bruns.  Springer.  ISBN 3658028599.  Kapittel 10.  s 201 - 222
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Regional Cosmopolitanism: The EU in Search of its Legitimation . European Journal of Futures Research.  ISSN 2195-4194.  2(1) . doi: 10.1007/s40309-014-0051-8
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2014). Demokratisk konstitusjonalisme i en europeisert kontekst, I:  Det norske paradoks: Om Norges forhold til Den europeiske union.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-02100-3.  Kapittel 1.  s 11 - 22
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2014). Innlemmelse uten medbestemmelse, I:  Det norske paradoks: Om Norges forhold til Den europeiske union.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-02100-3.  Kapittel 12.  s 220 - 232
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2012). Krigen i hvitt. Om å reparere tillit i organisasjoner, I:  Tillit i Norge.  Res Publica.  ISBN 9788282260367.  Kapittel.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2012). Conclusion, In  Rethinking Democracy and the European Union.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-60557-1.  Chapter 11.  s 201 - 207
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2012). Europe’s challenge: reconstituting Europe or reconfiguring democracy?, In  Rethinking Democracy and the European Union.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-60557-1.  Chapter 2.  s 14 - 38
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2012). Introduction: reconfiguring European democracy, In  Rethinking Democracy and the European Union.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-60557-1.  Chapter 1.  s 1 - 13
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2012). Representation through Deliberation - The European Case. Constellations.  ISSN 1351-0487.  19(2), s 325- 339 . doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8675.2012.00677.x
  • Molander, Anders; Grimen, Harald & Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2012). Professional Discretion and Accountability in the Welfare State. Journal of Applied Philosophy.  ISSN 0264-3758.  29(3), s 214- 230 . doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2012.00564.x
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2011). An emerging European public sphere, In  Jürgen Habermas, Volumes I and II.  Ashgate.  ISBN 978-0-7546-2832-3.  Chapter.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2011). Democracy lost. The EEA Agreement And Norway's Democratic Deficit, In  Northern Europe and the Future of the EU. Nordeuropa und Die Zukunft der EU.  Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag GmbH.  ISBN 978-3-8305-1965-2.  Chapter.  s 113 - 130
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2011). Governance between expertise and democracy: the case of European Security. Journal of European Public Policy.  ISSN 1350-1763.  18(8), s 1169- 1189 . doi: 10.1080/13501763.2011.615206
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2011). Reflexive Integration: a Perspective on the Transformation of Europe, In  Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-54825-0.  35.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2011). Bringing European Democracy Back In — Or How to Read the German Constitutional Court's Lisbon Treaty Ruling. European Law Journal.  ISSN 1351-5993.  17(2), s 153- 171 . doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0386.2010.00549.x
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2010). A Stateless Vanguard for a Rightful World Order, In  Political Theory of the European Union.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-958730-8.  4.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2010). Manipulasjon, forhandling eller argumentasjon?, I:  Elster og sirenenes sang.  Pax Forlag.  ISBN 9788253032733.  Kapittel.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2009). Deliberativt demokrati, I:  Klassisk og moderne politisk teori.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741251158.  Kapitel 41.  s 760 - 777
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2009). EØS, Norge og demokratiet. Kritisk juss.  ISSN 0804-7375.  35(3), s 230- 243
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2009). Fra Strategisk Ledelse til Kommunikativ Ledelse, I:  Ledelse og Organisation - Forandringer og Udfordringer.  Samfundslitteratur.  ISBN 978-87-593-1328-2.  Kapitel 9.  s 213 - 234
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2009). The EU: A Cosmopolitan Vanguard?. Global Jurist Advances.  ISSN 1535-1661.  9(1)
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Molander, Anders (2008). Profesjon, rett og politikk, I:  Profesjonsstudier.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-00859-2.  Kapittel 9.  s 161 - 176

View all works in Cristin

  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2015). Hva er EU godt for?. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.  ISBN 9788202494506.  221 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2015). The European Union's non-members: Independence under hegemony?. Routledge.  ISBN 9781138922457.  389 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). Die Normativität der Europäischen Union. Verlag Karl Alber.  ISBN 978-3-495-48646-7.  180 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2014). The Normativity of the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 978-1-137-39144-5.  144 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2014). Det norske paradoks: Om Norges forhold til Den europeiske union. Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-02100-3.  275 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Fossum, John Erik (2012). Rethinking Democracy and the European Union. Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-60557-1.  234 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar & Menendez, Agustin Jose (2010). La Argumentacíon y los Derechos Fundamentales. Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales.  ISBN 978-84-259-1473-7.  283 s.
  • Eriksen, Erik Oddvar (2009). The Unfinished Democratization of Europe. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780199572519.  280 s.

View all works in Cristin

View all works in Cristin

Published Jul 26, 2010 02:35 PM - Last modified May 27, 2016 10:16 AM