Self-Constitution of European Society
Beyond EU politics, law and governance
Recent social and political developments in the EU have clearly shown the profound structural changes in European society and its politics. Reflecting on these developments and responding to the existing body of academic literature and scholarship, this book critically discusses the emerging notion of European constitutionalism, its varieties and different contextualization in theories of EU law, general jurisprudence, sociology of law, political theory and sociology. The contributors address different problems related to the relationship between the constitutional state and non-state constitutionalizations and critically analyze general theories of constitutional monism, dualism and pluralism and their juridical and political uses in the context of EU constitutionalism. Individual chapters emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary and socio-legal methods in the current research of EU constitutionalism and their potential to re-conceptualize and re-think traditional problems of constitutional subjects, limitation and separation of power, political symbolism and identity politics in Europe. This collection simultaneously describes the EU and its self-constitution as one polity, differentiated society and shared community and its contributors conceptualize the sense of common identity and solidarity in the context of the post-sovereign multitude of European society.
Table of Contents
Introduction: on Europe’s crises and self-constitutions. Part I The European Self-Constitution - Concepts and Theories: The European Constitution and the pouvoir constituent - no longer, or never, sui generis?, Chris Thornhill; The concept of self-limiting polity in EU constitutionalism: a systems theoretical outline, Jiří Přibáň; A political-sociological analysis of constitutional pluralism in Europe, Paul Blokker. Part II European Constitutional Jurisprudence: Pluralist constitutional paradoxes and cosmopolitan Europe, Joxerramon Bengoetxea; The pluralist turn and its political discontents, Marco Goldoni; Why supra-national law is not the exception. On the grounds of legal obligations beyond the state, George Pavlakos; Declaratory rule of law: self-constitution through unenforceable promises, Dimitry Kochenov. Part III EU Constitutionalism and Governance: Constitutionalising expertise in the EU: anchoring knowledge in democracy, Stijn Smismans; Bringing politics into European integration, Gareth Davies; A technocratic tyranny of certainty: a preliminary sketch, Michelle Everson. Part IV Crises of EU Constitutionalism: The European dual state: the double structural transformation of the public sphere and the need for re-politicization, Hauke Brunkhorst; Societal conditions of self-constitution: the experience of the European periphery, Pierre Guibentif; The empire of principle, Petr Agha. Index.
Jiří Přibáň is Professor of Law at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University and author of numerous legal philosophical and socio-legal publications, such as Sovereignty in Post-Sovereign Society (2015), Legal Symbolism (2007) and Dissidents of Law (2002). His research interests include social theory and philosophy of law, constitutional theory, philosophy of rights and constitutionalism.
'This book makes a vital intervention in the debate on European constitutionalism at a time when the foundations seem to be crumbling under the combined pressure of the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis and the latest terrorists massacres. It shows a deeper and multi-faceted self-constitutionalization of Europe at work: a self-constitutionalization which is not limited merely to the surface of law and politics. The contributors move far beyond the by-now almost arid ground of constitutional pluralism.'
Kaarlo Tuori, University of Helsinki, Finland
‘This fascinating book mirrors the ongoing European crisis, oscillating in its reaction between normalisation and contestation. This creates constructive tensions: normalisation is not simply defensive Union praise but seeks fundamental theoretical renewal; contestation documents suffering, empathy and passion. With such dynamics, there is still hope for a European future.’
Christian Joerges, Hertie School of Governance, Germany