Building the union: The nature of sovereignty in the political architecture of europe [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 16 (4):421-445 (1997)
The debate on the nature of the European Union has become a test case of the kind of political and institutional arrangements appropriate in an age of globalization. This paper explores three views of the EU. The two main positions that have hitherto confronted each other appeal to either cosmopolitan or communitarian values. Advocates of the former argue for some form of federal structure in Europe and are convinced that the sovereignty of the nation state belongs to the past. Proponents of the latter make a case on both socio-political and normative grounds for a Europe of nations. However a third position, favoured by the authors, is gaining ground. This view combines cosmopolitan and communitarian conceptions. It emphasises the mixed nature of the European polity and conceives the constitutionalization process as open-ended. The paper concludes that from this perspective a bricoleur's Europe of ‘bits and pieces’may not necessarily lack justification and legitimacy.
Keywords sovereignty  European Union  federalism  cosmopolitanism  communitarianism  mixed commonwealth
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