The challenge of thinking about the place of constitutionalism beyond the conventional categories of the nation state has become a principal concern for legal and political scholars. This book casts this issue in a different light by exploring the implications for the constitutionalism of legal integration in the European Union's 'area of freedom, security and justice'. In doing so it makes a novel contribution to an understanding of the European Union as a political community beyond the state, but in addition explores how this entails thinking differently about what is essential concerning constitutionalism. The book argues that instead of seeking to theorise constitutional foundations we actually begin to encounter the constitutional life implied by political and legal practices in the European Union and as exemplified here by 'the area of freedom, security and justice'.
'Gibbs’ book…manages to facilitate a dialogue across a wide range of theories, issues and complex policy debates. It is this breadth and the ease with which Gibbs navigates the different aspects of this constitutional conversation that constitute the most important contribution of this book.’ Law and Politics Book Review 'This book leads the way in probing and pointing out with admirable clarity and insight the constitutional significance of crime, security and the ordering of criminal justice in the evolving governance of Europe.' Christopher Harding, Aberystwyth University, UK 'This book offers an entirely fresh perspective on the fast-developing world of Europe's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. The author treats his subject not as a detailed body of doctrine but as a key test-case in late modern constitutional theory. His subtle yet passionate argument will surprise, fascinate and enlighten anyone with an interest in this pivotal area of transnational law.' Neil Walker, University of Edinburgh, UK
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Constitutional life and the area of freedom, security and justice; Constitutional life and legitimacy; Public goods as constitutional goods; The public good of security; The construction of an area of freedom, security and justice: the practices of constitutional life examined; Constitutional life and criminal justice; Conclusion: learning constitutionalism; Bibliography; Index.