The Empire of Principle

21 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2016

See all articles by Petr Agha

Petr Agha

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 5, 2016


The aim of this contribution is to recentre our thoughts, which have recently shifted in favour of the end of politics and the consolidation of the post-political condition in the wake of the Eurozone crisis. I shall consider the rapidly accelerating decline of the political topography over the past few decades into a post-democratic arrangement, in which expert administration, the naturalisation of the political into the management of a presumably inescapable economic ordering by an administrative elite in tandem with an economic oligarchy, has occupied and filled out the very meaning of Europe. The chapter will demonstrate the need for the European project and the spaces for democratic engagement, to be taken back from the post-political oligarchic constituent order, represented by the austerity measures. It will revisit a handful of key components of the process of self-constitutionalization, in the light of the austerity measures imposed after the outbreak of Eurozone crisis, in order to see how and if Europeans, under these novel conditions, can still constitute their own Europe. If Europe is really going through substantive transmutation, as this piece argues, this will not be revealed by the analysis of positive laws, constitutional texts and institutional arrangements alone. We need to dig deeper into the “hidden abode” of European discursive practices, its ideas and ideologies. I will particularly focus on the role one of the primary tools of the European project, so-called “integration through law”, plays in the consolidation of austerity measures as a part of the post-2008 constitutional landscape of Europe and the effect it has on the generative matrix of the European project.

Keywords: constitutionalism, constitutionalism beyond the state, European integration, austerity, integration through law

Suggested Citation

Agha, Petr, The Empire of Principle (January 5, 2016). Charles University in Prague Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015/III/5, Available at SSRN: or

Petr Agha (Contact Author)

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law ( email )

Nam. Curieovych 7
Praha, 11640
Czech Republic

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