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

30 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2009

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March, 17 2009

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.

Keywords: Spinelli, EU constitutionalism, US Constitution, constitutional politics, popular sovereignty

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 (March, 17 2009). Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 287-307, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1361595

Andrew R. Glencross (Contact Author)

University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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