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Integration-through-Law: Contribution to a Socio-history of EU Political Commonsense

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  • Antoine Vauchez
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    This article tracks the genesis of one of the EU's most established meta-narratives, that of Europeanization-through-case-law. Instead of studying this theory of European integration as an explanatory frame, I consider it here as the phenomenon to be explained and accounted for. Thereby, the paper does not try to assess how heuristic and explicative it may be, but rather analyzes what is at stake in its genesis as a dominant theory of Europeanization. I trace its emergence in the conflicting theorizations of the relationship between Law and the European Communities that come along with the European Court of Justice's 'landmark' decisions (Van Gend en Loos and Costa v. ENEL). This approach helps seizing the genesis of a specific and - at the time - rather unlikely political model for Europe in which a judge (the ECJ) is regarded as the very locus of European integration's dynamics as well as the best mediator and moderator of both Member States' "conservatism" and individuals' "potential excesses". It also allows to grasp the emergence of Euro-implicated lawyers as a group endowed with a set of critical functions (integration) and missions (protecting the EC treaties) the theory assigned them.

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    Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 10.

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    Date of creation: 15 Mar 2008
    Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0187
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    1. F. H. Hahn, 1963. "A Comment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 191-191.
    2. Lowe, Vaughan, 2007. "International Law," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199268849.
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