Mapping Human Rights, Reading the European Union

18 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2004


The EU's human rights policy has provoked increasing scholarly attention over the last decade. Yet rarely has it been subjected to rigorous analysis in the context of any integration theory. This article is an attempt to rectify the omission. By building on the approach of historical institutionalism, whilst at the same time recognising its analytical deficiencies, a method of reading the EU and interpreting its human rights policies is promoted. Specifically, the article contends that an analysis based on the textual nature of the EU and the configuration of this text through 'institutional narrative' will enable a better understanding of the institutional logic behind the construction of human rights policy. An agenda for research and analysis is thus suggested that might map the development of human rights in the EU and predict the compass of future policy direction more effectively.

Suggested Citation

Williams, Andrew Trevor, Mapping Human Rights, Reading the European Union. Available at SSRN:

Andrew Trevor Williams (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
02476 524996 (Phone)
02476 524105 (Fax)


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