Altiero Spinelli and the Idea of the Us Constitution as a Model for Europe: The Promises and Pitfalls of an Analogy

21 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2008

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Abstract

Altiero Spinelli believed European integration needed to draw inspiration from the US constitutional founding. The article uses Spinelli's analogy to assess how useful it is to compare the predicament of European integration with US constitutional politics. The analysis reveals both how Spinelli exaggerated the extent to which the US Constitution established and delimited federal political authority once and for all as well the way in which, despite its functionalist non-constitutional origins, the EU has experienced its own brand of constitutional politics. The analogy is thus most useful in showing how both polities faced similar tensions over the process of constitutionalism, restraining unit sovereignty and the institutionalization of popular sovereignty at the federal level.

Suggested Citation

Glencross, Andrew R., Altiero Spinelli and the Idea of the Us Constitution as a Model for Europe: The Promises and Pitfalls of an Analogy. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 47, Issue 2, pp. 287-307, January 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1206262 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2009.00805.x

Andrew R. Glencross (Contact Author)

University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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