Hopes of Progress: European Integration in the History of International Law
36 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2018 Last revised: 23 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 8, 2018
This paper argues that the Treaties of Rome and the process of European integration they heralded had a lasting impact on the development of international law. However, their significance is usually misattributed. While European law has had little impact on international legal doctrine, and while European integration has remained unique as a political project, European law and the process of European integration have served international law as an important progress narrative. In this respect, they have had an influence on important background understandings characterizing international law since the postwar era, including on the perception of international law as universal, autonomous, pluralistic, and economically liberal. The progress narrative culminates in the view that international law is in a normatively ambitious process of constitutionalization, an idea imported from European law. This progress narrative is now under threat as European integration faces existential difficulties.The crisis of European integration might therefore anticipate a crisis of international law.
Keywords: European Law, Legal History, International Law, Constitutionalism, Progress
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