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Sovereignty Reloaded? A Constructivist Perspective on European Research


  • Tanja E. Aalberts


This paper addresses three issues. Beginning with the sovereignty puzzle that emerges from multilevel governance analyses (in terms of the endurance of sovereignty within structures of overlapping authorities), it suggests supplementing the static view of multilevel governance with the dynamic perspective of Europeanization literature as an important step forward for the next generation of EU studies. In addition, it calls for a 'constructivist turn' in order to elaborate the dynamics identified by Europeanization approaches. It is argued that this provides the key to the sovereignty puzzle by analysing the link between interaction and identity. Finally, the constructivist perspective of the mutual constitution of structure and agency is advocated as a fruitful lane for the third wave of EU research as a way to overcome its struggles with unidirectional, causality notions of bottom-up and top-down relationships within multilevel governance structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Tanja E. Aalberts, 2005. "Sovereignty Reloaded? A Constructivist Perspective on European Research," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0010, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:conweb:p0010

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    1. Markus Jachtenfuchs, 2001. "The Governance Approach to European Integration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 245-264, June.
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    4. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1998. "What Makes the World Hang Together? Neo-utilitarianism and the Social Constructivist Challenge," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 855-885, September.
    5. Tanja E. Aalberts, 2004. "The Future of Sovereignty in Multilevel Governance Europe - A Constructivist Reading," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 23-46, February.
    6. Antje Wiener, 1998. "The Embedded Acquis Communautaire. Transmission Belt And Prism of New Governance," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 35, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    7. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1993. "Territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 139-174, December.
    8. Checkel, Jeffrey T., 2001. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 553-588, June.
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    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:02:p:233-243_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. March, James G. & Olsen, Johan P., 1998. "The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 943-969, September.
    12. Johan P. Olsen, 2002. "The Many Faces of Europeanization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 921-952, December.
    13. Thomas Risse-kappen, 1996. "Exploring the Nature of the Beast: International Relations Theory and Comparative Policy Analysis Meet the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 53-80, March.
    14. Radealli, Claudio M., 2000. "Whither Europeanization? Concept stretching and substantive change," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 4, July.
    15. William Wallace, 1999. "The Sharing of Sovereignty: the European Paradox," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 47(3), pages 503-521, August.
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    sovereignty; multilevel governance; Europeanization;

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