European Union Law in U.S. Legal Academia

Posted: 26 Oct 2011

See all articles by Daniela Caruso

Daniela Caruso

Boston University School of Law

Date Written: October 26, 2011


The history of EU law in the J.D. curriculum is a classical tale of rise and fall. An avant-garde, boutique offering in the 1970s, and a fairly popular course in the 1990s, today EU law is slowly losing prominence in U.S. law schools, while remaining of interest in political science departments. Tracking this parabolic trajectory, this paper argues that the discipline rose thanks to a number of favorable circumstances (including the federalism revolution of the Rehnquist Court, the 1990s convergence of transatlantic politics, and the charisma of key academic players), and that it fell for reasons wholly unrelated to its pedagogical and analytical significance. The paper then provides a critical appraisal of what EU law is still uniquely poised to offer, both in the classroom and as a subject for legal scholarship. An illustration based on French experiences of Europeanization supports the claim that EU law as an autonomous subject can still make an original and non-fungible contribution to U.S. legal academia.

Keywords: European Union Law, Law Schools, Federalism, Comparative Law, French Law

JEL Classification: K33, K10, K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Caruso, Daniela, European Union Law in U.S. Legal Academia (October 26, 2011). Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 20, 2011; Boston University School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 11-53. Available at SSRN:

Daniela Caruso (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-7024 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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