Statecraft and the Foundations of European Union Law
Julie DICKSON and Pavlos ELEFTHERIADIS (eds), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law, Oxford University Press, 2012, 275-306
29 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2017
Date Written: July 02, 2012
In this chapter, we use the lens of Statecraft to analyse the philosophical foundations of the European integration enterprise. We advance a theory of Statecraft that posits that the state evolves through successive eras that are characterized by distinctive hallmarks. The 'state-nation' of the Industrial Revolution drew on the resources of its subjects and garnered for itself as much international resources as possible to strengthen and solidify the economic base of the polity. More laissez-faire policies internally, mercantilism and gunboat diplomacy on the trade front, as well as competition for colonial resources, accorded with the ethos of the state-nation. In time, the state-nation evolved into a 'nation-state' dedicated internally to providing 'welfare' (which we define to encompass both entitlements and welfare-enhancing regulation) to its nation. Collaboration with other states in an international trade framework dedicated to liberalizing trade while theoretically allowing each participant to set its chosen welfare level accorded with this model. Decolonization of nations artificially established by the colonial powers, the establishment of a United Nations based on territorial integrity and sovereign equals, and a general system of international law providing few encroachments on national sovereignty were twentieth-century phenomena consistent with the age of the nation-state.
Keywords: European integration, national sovereignty, statecraft, jurisprudence
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