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The European Union's Constitutional Mosaic: Big 'C' or Small 'C', is that the Question?


Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh


University of Edinburgh - School of Law

October 25, 2010

EUROPE'S CONSTITUTIONAL MOSAIC, N. Walker, J. Shaw, S. Tierney, eds., Oxford: Hart, 2011
U. of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No. 2010/31

Abstract:     
This paper examines Europe's Constitutional mosaic by focusing on the constitutional mosaic which makes up European Union constitutional discourse. It identifies the current state of EU constitutional discourse as a mosaic of different trends, the contours of which are briefly traced. It then argues that trends in EU constitutional discourse have ignored or suppressed the idea of sovereignty (hence the small 'c' adjective) and that this has resulted in difficulties both with relation to the conceptual coherence of constitutionalism and affects its usefulness as a way of understanding the polity. It argues that the constitutional idea is incorrigibly linked to the concept of sovereignty and that any constitutional discourse, even at the EU level, must entail sovereignty. It goes on to provide a sovereignty-inspired reading of EU constitutionalism through a particular reading of the European Court of Justice's constitutionalization of the Treaties and in its recent Kadi decision.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Constitutionalism, Sovereignty, European Union, European Integration, Political Theory, Legal Theory, Philosophy,

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Date posted: October 26, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac S., The European Union's Constitutional Mosaic: Big 'C' or Small 'C', is that the Question? (October 25, 2010). EUROPE'S CONSTITUTIONAL MOSAIC, N. Walker, J. Shaw, S. Tierney, eds., Oxford: Hart, 2011; U. of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No. 2010/31. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1697569

Contact Information

Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh (Contact Author)
University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )
Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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