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Difference as a Potential for European Constitution Making

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This article examines the hypothesis that the impact of difference of ideas and interests on European constitution making can, under certain conditions, be a positive potential for legitimate and effective constitution making. The prerequisite conditions include actors that take differences seriously, structures of constitution making that are suitable for recognising differences, and processes of constitution making in which actors deal with differences in a democratic and communicative way. The analytical approach will be applied to the European Convention. Two case studies concerning the Convention's work will be examined: the process of decision-making that led to the protocol on national parliaments and the decision-making process concerning a permanent president of the European Council. Both case studies give evidence that the way in which members of the Convention were dealing with difference influenced the degree to which the positive potential of difference was activated for a legitimate and effective European constitutional treaty.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hamburg

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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