Constitutionalizing Governing and Governance in Europe

Comparative Sociology, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 86-119, 2010

34 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009 Last revised: 31 Aug 2010

Date Written: December 17, 2009


The EU is a structure positioned “in-between” hierarchically organized nation-state governing structures and heterarchically structured global governance structures. Thus, the EU is a hybrid which relies partly on governing and partly on governance. This two-dimensionality is a central reason why the question of the constitutional character of the EU remains fundamentally unresolved. Thus, it is proposed that the EU should aim for developing a constitutional form aimed at alleviating the tensions inherent in the European construction through a conflict of laws approach. In order to respect the hybridity of the Union, such an approach, however, will have to be based on a three-dimensional conflict of laws concept. It would have to take account of horizontal conflicts between territorial units, vertical conflicts between the EU and its member states, and also horizontal conflicts between the functionally differentiated structures of the wider society.

Keywords: European integration and constitutionalization, conflict of laws, systems theory, governance, democracy, legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Kjaer, Poul F., Constitutionalizing Governing and Governance in Europe (December 17, 2009). Comparative Sociology, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 86-119, 2010 . Available at SSRN:

Poul F. Kjaer (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000

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