Europe and European Studies in Crisis. Inter-Disciplinary and Intra-Disciplinary Schisms in Legal and Political Science
WZB Discussion Paper SP IV 2016–109
34 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: September 26, 2016
European Studies used to be dominated by legal and political science approaches which hailed the progress of European integration and its reliance on law. The recent set of crises which struck the EU have highlighted fundamental problems in the ways and means by which European integration unfolds. The quasi-authoritarian emergency politics deployed in the euro crisis is a radical expression of the fading prevalence of democratic processes to accommodate economic and social diversity in the Union. As we argue in this paper, however, the mainstreams in both disciplines retain a largely affirmative and apologetic stance on the EU’s post-democratic and extra-constitutional development. While political science contributions mostly contend themselves with a revival of conventional integration theories and thus turn a blind eye to normatively critical aspects of European crisis governance, legal scholarship is in short supply of normatively convincing theoretical paradigms and thus aligns itself with the functionalist reasoning of the EU’s Court of Justice. Yet we also identify critical peripheries in both disciplines which intersect in their critical appraisal of the authoritarian tendencies that inhere the crisis-ridden state of European integration. Their results curb the prevailing optimism and underline that the need for fundamental reorientations in both the theory and practice of European integration has become irrefutable.
Keywords: European crisis, authoritarian tendencies, European Studies, European integration
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