National governments have traditionally been seen as the masters of treaty making in the European Union (EU) but the last three decades have seen national parliaments, national courts and - through the possibility of referendums - the people assume a more prominent role in the process of treaty ratification. This paper elucidates this puzzle through a systematic analysis of the changing legal rules and norms governing treaty ratification in the EU-15 member states between 1985 and 2015. Having done so, it considers a line of explanation based on a new intergovernmental reworking of Putnam's two-level game approach. Whereas Putnam assumes that the heads of state or government occupy a privileged position in both Level 1 and Level 2, the two-level legitimacy approach sees this privilege as being under threat because of problems of trust in relation to the EU and domestic polities.
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