The transnational politics of judicialization. Van Gend en Loos and the making of EU polity

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This article tracks the genesis of one of the EU's most established meta-narratives, that of Europeanisation-through-case-law. Instead of studying this theory of European integration as an explanatory frame, I consider what is at stake in its genesis as a dominant frame of understanding of Europeanisation. I trace its emergence in the conflicting theorisations of the relationship between law and the European Communities that come along with the ECJ's ‘landmark’ decisions (Van Gend en Loos and Costa v ENEL). This approach helps seize the genesis of a specific and—at the time—rather unlikely political model for Europe in which a Court (the ECJ) is regarded as the very locus of European integration's dynamics as well as the best mediator and moderator of both Member States' ‘conservatism’ and individuals' ‘potential excesses’.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Senior Research Fellow at the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique)

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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