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Mapping Human Rights, Reading the European Union

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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Law, University of Warwick

Publication date: December 1, 2003


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