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Invention and promotion of the concept of ‘Community of law’ in the EEC – The role and thought of Walter Hallstein – Moving beyond the traditional opposition between ‘constitutionalists’ and ‘internationalists’ – The diversity and struggles among the ‘constitutionalists’ – Constitutional imaginaries as different conceptions of the relation of law, market, and democracy – Social processes at work in the elaboration of a transnational constitutional imaginary – Political and academic making of the imaginary of the ‘Community of law’
This Article uncovers the normative political theory underlying the legal doctrine of constitutional pluralism, as it is used in the EU today. Constitutional pluralism, once described as a semi-official legal doctrine in the EU, is now being used by some member states to challenge its authority and rules. By reconstructing the political thought of one of its founders, N. MacCormick, this Article takes issue with two most common interpretations of constitutional pluralism: On the one hand, it has been claimed that the normative political content of constitutional pluralism is virtually identical, or at least compatible, with that of Kantian rights-based cosmopolitanism; on the other, it has been contended, especially with regard to its uses in Hungary and Poland, that it was an inherently dangerous, illiberal, normative theory. This Article offers to move away from current legal debates to go back to the origins of constitutional pluralism. It argues that constitutional pluralism is not a purely liberal theory indeed. But neither is it inherently illiberal. Rather, both liberal and illiberal readings are possible, but partial, interpretations of MacCormickian constitutional pluralism. A more systematic interpretation shows that constitutional pluralism opens a path to move beyond this somewhat archetypical divide.
This article contributes to the debate about the history of the political economy of the European Economic Community (EEC). It retraces the efforts during the early years of the EEC to implement a form of ‘European economic programming’, that is, a more ‘dirigiste’ type of economic governance than is usually associated with European integration. Based on a variety of archives, it offers a new account of the making and failure of this project. It argues that, at the time, the idea of economic programming found many supporters, but its implementation largely failed for political as well as practical reasons. In so doing, it also brings to light the role of economists during the early years of European integration.
This essay investigates the intellectual history of one of the purportedly most “revolutionary” concepts of post-1945 international thought—the concept of supranationality. While the literature has generally analyzed the concept as a direct continuation of progressive cosmopolitan ideas, or, to the contrary, as a political watchword formulated after 1945 to promote the European project, this essay highlights other, more ambiguous origins for the concept. It retraces the early uses of the concept in French debates. It argues that the irruption of supranationality in the political and legal vocabulary was far from revolutionary, as is typically claimed—without referring directly to the writings of the great classical philosophers. Rather, the concept drew on earlier discourses whose emergence can be identified in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debates, ranging from Catholic thought to international law. To retrace the genealogy of supranationality in the decades preceding the supranational vogue of the 1950s contributes to illuminating the complex intellectual origins of the European Union and of international thought more generally.
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