Learning from the EU Constitutional Treaty: Democratic Constitutionalization beyond the Nation-State, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Learning from the EU Constitutional Treaty

Democratic Constitutionalization beyond the Nation-State, 1st Edition

By Ben Crum


240 pages

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The negative results of referenda on the European Union (EU) Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands, and subsequent low-key adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon raise complex questions about the possible democratization of international organisations. This book provides a full analysis of the EU Constitutional Treaty process, grounded in broader political theoretical debates about democratic constitutionalisation and globalization.

As international organizations become permanent systems of governance that directly interfere in individuals’ lives, it is not enough to have them legitimated by the consent of governments alone. This book presents an evaluation of the present EU Treaty of Lisbon in comparison with the original EU Constitutional Treaty, and analyses the importance of consent of the people, asking if saving the treaty came at the cost of democracy. Drawing first-hand on the European Convention and the referendum in the Netherlands, this book outlines an original political theory of democratic constitutionalisation beyond the nation-state, and argues that international organizations can be put on democratic foundations, but only by properly engaging national political structures.

Learning from the EU Constitutional Treaty will be of interest to students and scholars of European Union politics, history and policy.


"The book succeeds in blending normative and empirical insights in a manner that will make it an indispensable reference on the EU’s constitutional debates of the past decade – and a worthwhile point of departure for those (inevitably) yet to come." - Robert Harmsen, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 50, 6, November 2012

"Provides a good reconstruction of the EU’s journey towards increased legitimacy and makes a highly original contribution to the normative debate on the post-governmental legitimacy of the EU." - Diana Panke, West European Politics, 2012

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Avoiding Democratic Constitutionalization in the European Union 2. Democratic Constitutionalisation beyond the Nation-State: A Normative Theory 3. Competing Visions of the Future of the European Union 4. The European Convention as a Forum of Supranational Constitution-Making 5. A Constitutional Treaty for a Union of Citizens and States 6. The External Accountability of the European Convention 7. Bringing the Constitutional Treaty back to the Peoples 8. The Treaty of Lisbon: Saving the Treaty at the Cost of Democracy 9. Conclusions and Prospects

About the Author

Ben Crum is Associate Professor in Political Theory at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in European Politics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Comparative