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Implications of European Disintegration for International Law

Matthew C. Turk

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 1, 2011

Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 17, p. 395, 2011

The European debt crisis that started in 2009 has revealed underlying structural problems in the European Monetary Union, threatening the viability of the common currency in its current form. An unraveling of monetary coordination in Europe would mark a significant event of disintegration, in the face of a decades-long trend of integration that was commonly considered an inevitable and self-sustaining process.

This Article argues that even a reasonable possibility of disintegration of this magnitude upsets previous theorizing about European integration which over-emphasized the EU’s “supranational” character.

More generally, disintegration poses serious problems for international law scholarship across the ideological spectrum, much of which has organized itself around the historically contingent trend of integration as if it were an a-historical given. The debt crises reveals that use of Europe by both “Skeptical” and “Cosmopolitan” international law scholars is largely an opportunistic rhetorical strategy that conceals fundamental weaknesses of both viewpoints in their debate over the limits and promise of international legalization and cooperation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: EU, Greece, Debt Crisis, International Law, Law and Economics, European Integration, Theories of International Law

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Date posted: April 25, 2011 ; Last revised: July 26, 2012

Suggested Citation

Turk, Matthew C., Implications of European Disintegration for International Law (March 1, 2011). Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 17, p. 395, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1780591

Contact Information

Matthew C. Turk (Contact Author)
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit ( email )
125 S. Grand Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91001
United States
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