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Verfassungspolitik als Konstruktion von Lernprozessen? Konstitutionalisierung und Identitätsbildung in der Europäischen Union


  • Achim Hurrelmann


The three most important international representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany - foreign minister Joschka Fischer, federal president Johannes Rau and federal chancellor Gerhard Schröder - have in the last few years all gone public with concepts for a European constitution. This paper attempts an analysis of these concepts that incorporates insights from constructivist approaches to institutional and constitutional analysis. It is argued that in spite of differences in detail, the concepts convey the same basic logic: Fischer's constitutional model, drawing heavily on the example of the United States, interprets constitutionalization as an act of founding, while Rau and Schröder, following an influential line in German constitutional scholarship, characterize constitutions as systems of values. Common to all models, however, is the expectation that a European constitution could serve as foundation, not finishing stone of the European building (Rau) and might set in motion processes of forming a European identity. Constitutional politics is thus seen as an attempt to strategically construct learning processes in European society. In evaluating this approach to constitutional politics, the article shows that while constitutionalization may indeed influence processes of social learning, the success of a strategic identity construction through constitutionalization appears highly dubious

Suggested Citation

  • Achim Hurrelmann, 2002. "Verfassungspolitik als Konstruktion von Lernprozessen? Konstitutionalisierung und Identitätsbildung in der Europäischen Union," MZES Working Papers 51, MZES.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wendt, Alexander, 1992. "Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 391-425, March.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:74:y:1980:i:02:p:432-446_16 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. P. D., 1988. "Introduction," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 10(4), pages 527-527, July.
    4. Helen Wallace, 2000. "Possible Futures for the European Union: A British Reaction," Jean Monnet Working Papers 7, Jean Monnet Chair.
    5. Moe, Terry M, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 213-253.
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    constitution building; ideas; institutions; public choice; sociological institutionalism;

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