March 4, 2015

Book Announcement: Kalypso Nicolaïdis et al., eds., Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies (Tauris 2015)

Network member Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Oxford), together with Berny Sebe and Gabrielle Maas, have edited a new volume from I.B. Tauris, entitled Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies.  The publisher's blurb is below and more information can be found on the Tauris site here.

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How does our colonial past echo through today's global politics? How have former empire-builders sought vindication or atonement, and formerly colonized states reversal or retribution? This groundbreaking book presents a panoramic view of attitudes to empires past and present, seen not only through the hard politics of international power structures but also through the nuances of memory, historiography and national and minority cultural identities. Bringing together leading historians, poitical scientists and international relations scholars from across the globe, Echoes of Empire emphasizes Europe's colonial legacy whilst also highlighting the importance of non-European power centres- Ottoman, Russian, Chinese, Japanese- in shaping world politics, then and now. Echoes of Empire bridges the divide between disciplines to trace the global routes travelled by objects, ideas and people and forms a radically different notion of the term 'empire' itself. This will be an essential companion to courses on international relations and imperial history as well as a fascinating read for anyone interested in Western hegemony, North-South relations, global power shifts and the longue durée.

Book Announcement: Susan Rose-Ackerman et al., Due Process of Lawmaking: The United States, South Africa, Germany, and the European Union (CUP 2015)

Network member Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale), together with Stefanie Egidy and James Fowkes, has a new book out from CUP entitled Due Process of Lawmaking: The United States, South Africa, Germany, and the European Union.  The publisher's blurb is below and more information can be found on the CUP site here.

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With nuanced perspective and detailed case studies, Due Process of Lawmaking explores the law of lawmaking in the United States, South Africa, Germany, and the European Union. This comparative work deals broadly with public policymaking in the legislative and executive branches. It frames the inquiry through three principles of legitimacy: democracy, rights, and competence. Drawing on the insights of positive political economy, the authors explicate the ways in which courts uphold these principles in the different systems. Judicial review in the American presidential system suggests lessons for the parliamentary systems in Germany and South Africa, while the experience of parliamentary government yields potential insights into the reform of the American law of lawmaking. Taken together, the national experiences shed light on the special case of the EU. In dialogue with each other, the case studies demonstrate the interplay between constitutional principles and political imperatives under a range of different conditions.

Book Announcement: Kathleen Gutman, The Constitutional Foundations of European Contract Law (OUP 2014)

Network member Kathleen Gutman (KU Leuven) has alerted us to the appearance of her new book from OUP, The Constitutional Foundations of European Contract Law: A Comparative Analysis.  The publisher's blurb is below and more information can be found on the OUP website here.

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Situated within the context of the ongoing debate about European contract law, this book provides a detailed examination of the European Union's competence in the field of contract law. It analyses the limits of Union competence in relation to several relevant Treaty provisions which potentially confer competence on the Union to adopt a comprehensive contract law instrument and the exercise of Union competence in connection with the operation of the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and sincere cooperation. It also explores the viability of several alternative and complementary routes to the adoption of such an instrument, including enhanced cooperation, an intergovernmental treaty and certain American techniques. Setting forth an elaborate account of the context for this debate and its chronological development at the European level, this book charts the discussions relating to the European Union's competence to regulate contract law and offers a comparative analysis of the approach taken to the approximation of contract law in the American setting. Setting forth a detailed account of the context for this debate and its chronological development at the European level, the book charts the discussions that have occurred within and outside the EU relating to the transnational competence to regulate contract law. Situating European constitutional law within the continued debate about European contract law, it also reflects upon the contract law structure of the United States and examines the viability of alternative and complementary routes to the adoption of a comprehensive instrument of substantive contract law.

January 28, 2015

Panel Discussion at NYU Law School (Fri, Jan 30): Accession of the EU to the ECHR after Opinion 2/13

Last year ended with a major set-back for the accession of the EU to the ECHR. On December 18, 2014, the European Court of Justice delivered its long awaited Opinion 2/13 on the accession agreement, declaring it to be incompatible with the EU Treaties. Opinion 2/13 has been met with fierce criticism in the blogosphere (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). It raises a range of questions relating to the autonomy of EU law, the ECJ's alleged monopoly for human rights protection in EU law matters, and of course the future of the accession process. Will Article 6(2) TEU remain an unfulfilled obligation?

To discuss these and other questions, the Jean Monnet Center at NYU Law School will hold a lunch-time discussion on Friday, January 30, 2015 in the lounge of 22 Washington Square North. Thomas Streinz (Hauser Global Scholar, NYU) will provide a short introduction, network member Daniel Halberstam (Michigan) will offer remarks., and network member Peter Lindseth (UConn, Senior Emile Noël Fellow at NYU this term) will chair.

Lunch will be served from 12:00 PM onwards, the presentation will begin at 12:30 PM and the discussion should officially end at 2:00 PM (but could of course be continued informally over coffee).

If you are in New York and interested in attending, please RSVP to

January 26, 2015

CNRS Summer School-Call for proposals (due Feb 1): Political constructions of Europe: New historical and sociological approaches

CNRS Summer School - Call for proposals

Political constructions of Europe: 
New historical and sociological approaches

Project Coordinators:
Didier Georgakakis (University Paris 1, Cnrs-Cessp)
Jay Rowell (University of Strasbourg, Cnrs-Sage)
Antoine Vauchez (University of Paris 1, Cnrs-Cessp)

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS
European School of European Studies, University of Strasbourg
Project supported by:
TEPSIS Laboratory of Excellence

Date: June 9-12 2015


The Summer school will bring together senior scholars, postdoctoral students, and Ph.D candidates for an intensive four-day exchange on new historical and sociological approaches to European Studies. The school will be held in the extraordinary setting of the Moulin d’Andée ( located on the banks of the Seine in Normandy, one hour outside of Paris. It will be a unique opportunity for in-depth empirical, methodological and conceptual discussions on the study of the European Union and an occasion to strengthen and broaden existing European networks of scholars.

The Summer school will take stock of the rapid evolutions of the past 10 years in the field of EU studies and will sketch out shared research agendas. Until quite recently, work in history, political science and sociology developed quite independently, but disciplinary boundaries have gradually softened and shifted. A number of political scientists developed approaches inspired by political sociology and socio-historical perspectives ; simultaneously, a new historiography of European integration has emerged with a generation of historians from Germany, Denmark, France and elsewhere, who developed and explored more sociological perspectives and methods (transnational networks, field theory, etc...). These historians have called for closer collaboration between the disciplines as a way to renew the field of EU studies and study the blind spots of existing paradigms. Sociology had until recently remained on the sidelines, but recent research on professions and configurations of elites in their relationship to the “European project” have provided new avenues for closer cooperation with political sociology and history.

Overall, these innovations have generated several new insights: a more historically-grounded perspective which places contemporary transformations in their context of historical possibility; a more actor-centered orientation which questions the porosity of social spaces affected by European institutions while embedding “European actors” in wider social spaces; a more empirically-focused research agenda, opening black boxes and conceptualizing central ideas of the European process as the result of actor mobilization and legitimation strategies; last but not least, a more reflexive posture able to question forms of entanglement and circulation between an emerging transnational academic field and EU-implicated fields.


The residential Summer school follows three objectives. The first is the diffusion of new research concepts, methods and research techniques which have developed in parallel within the different disciplines (historical sociology, field-theory, prosopography, articulation between quantitative and qualitative methodologies, etc.). The second is the development of forms of reflexivity of EU academics, a domain which has remained for the most part a blind spot of EU Studies, but which has recently become a topic of research interest regarding the “making of the European Union”. The third is to consolidate and to take stock of recent developments in cross-disciplinary research and identify some shared research agendas and objects for future research.

The Summer school will be organized around 6 half-day themes and a final round table spanning over 4 days (9-12 June 2015). Each half-day (3 hours) will be dedicated to a theme which will follow the same structure: a keynote presentation of 45 minutes by a senior researcher will focus on the state of the art, methodological questions, research practice and perspectives; a discussion of two or three papers which operationalize the concept or method being discussed; an open discussion with all the participants. The sessions will be structured as follows:

1) Socio-historical approach of EU polity formation
2) EU Studies and the “European project”: “dangerous liaisons”?
3) Field-theory in Brussels: opportunities and difficulties
4) Sociography and prosopography of European actors
5) Studying European public spaces
6) Transnational circulations and transfers
7) Final Round table

Application Process

The Summer school is open to all members of the European academic community interested in developing their skills or participating in these interdisciplinary discussions and perspectives. This includes senior researchers or lecturers, post-doctoral students, PhD students and research engineers. We plan to bring together a total of 30-35 participants. Discussions will be held in French and English.

Please send a CV and one-page description of current research topics to the organizers (;; by February 1, 2015. Participants will be rapidly informed and paper givers will be asked to send their papers by May 15, 2015.

Inscription fees are 150€ for senior researchers and 75€ for PhD students and Post-doctoral researchers. All travel costs, lodging and food will be covered by the organizers.

January 16, 2015

Book Announcement: William Phelan, In Place of Inter-State Retaliation: The European Union's Rejection of WTO-style Trade Sanctions and Trade Remedies (OUP)

Network member William Phelan (Trinity College Dublin) has a new book out from OUP entitled In Place of Inter-State Retaliation: The European Union's Rejection of WTO-style Trade Sanctions and Trade Remedies.  For those interested, there will be a book rountable at the upcoming EUSA Conference in Boston (see the full program here), in which two network members will be providing comments, Daniel Kelemen (Rutgers) and Peter Lindseth (UConn), along with Peter Hall (Harvard), Alexandra Hennessy (Seton Hall), and Jonathan Slapin (Houston).  For those who want to learn more now, the publisher's blurb is below and more information can be found here.

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Unlike many other trade regimes, the European Union forbids the use of inter-state retaliation to enforce its obligations, and rules out the use of common 'escape' mechanisms such as anti-dumping between the EU member states. How does the EU do without these mechanisms that appear so vital to the political viability of other international trade regimes, including the World Trade Organization? How, therefore, is the European legal order, with the European Court of Justice at its centre, able to be so much more binding and intrusive than the legal obligations of many other trade regimes?

This book puts forward a new explanation of a key part of the European Union's legal system, emphasising its break with the inter-state retaliation mechanisms and how Europe's special form of legal integration is facilitated by intra-industry trade, parliamentary forms of national government, and European welfare states.

It argues first that the EU member states have allowed the enforcement of EU obligations by domestic courts in order to avoid the problems associated with enforcing trade obligations by constant threats of trade retaliation. It argues second that the EU member states have been able to accept such a binding form of dispute settlement and treaty obligation because the policy adjustments required by the European legal order were politically acceptable. High levels of intra-industry trade reduced the severity of the economic adjustments required by the expansion of the European market, and inclusive and authoritative democratic institutions in the member states allowed policy-makers to prioritise a general interest in reliable trading relationships even when policy changes affected significant domestic lobbies. Furthermore, generous national social security arrangements protected national constituents against any adverse consequences arising from the expansion of European law and the intensification of the European market.

The European legal order should therefore be understood as a legalized dispute resolution institution well suited to an international trade and integration regime made up of highly interdependent parliamentary welfare states.

January 6, 2015

Book Announcment: Klemen Jaklic, Constitutional Pluralism in the EU (OUP)

Many of you may already know that network member Klemen Jaklic (Harvard) has a book out from OUP, Constitutional Pluralism in the EU.  What you may have overlooked was that it just received a very nice end-of-year review from Joseph Weiler (EUI) on EJIL: Talk, who called it "an important and tremendously useful book."  For readers seeking to learn more, the publisher's blurb is below and more information (including a downloadable Chapter One), can be found here.

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Where does the law and political power of any given territory come from? Until recently it was believed that it came from a single and hierarchical source of constitutional authority, a sovereign people and their constitution. However, how can this model account for the new Europe? Where state constitutions and the European Constitution, which are ultimately equally self-standing sources of constitutional authority, overlap heterarchically over a shared piece of territory.

Constitutional pluralism is a new branch within constitutional thought that argues sovereignty is no longer the accurate and normatively superior constitutional foundation. It instead replaces this thought with its own foundation. It emerged on the basis of contributions by the leading EU constitutionalists and has now become the most dominant branch of European constitutional thought. Its claims have also overstepped the European context, suggesting that it offers historic advantages for further development of the idea of constitutionalism and world order as such.

This book offers the first overarching examination of constitutional pluralism.Comprehensively mapping out the leading contributions to date and solving the complicated labyrinth they currently form, Klemen Jaklic offers a complete assessment against existing and new criticisms while elaborating his own original vision. Constitutional pluralism thus refined has the potential to rightfully be considered the superior new approach within constitutional thought.

December 13, 2014

Section News: The Newsletter of the European Law Section of AALS (Fall 2014)

Through the great work of network member Erin Delaney (Northwestern), the European Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) has published its annual newsletter (see below).  The newsletter includes plenty of information of interest to section members, including notices of the Section's sponsored and co-sponsored panels at this year's AALS Annual Meeting in Washington (January 2-5, 2015) -- the first on US-EU trade relations (notably TTIP) and the second on transatlantic economic law and governance more generally.  In addition, there is a notice of a panel at this year's EUSA Conference in Boston (March 5-7, 2015) on the challenges of teaching EU law in US law schools, which will feature several Section members. Check it out, if you haven't seen it previously.

December 12, 2014

The Network on SSRN: Neil Walker on Secession Movements and EU Membership

Network member Neil Walker (Edinburgh, visiting this term at Yale) has alerted us to a new piece posted on SSRN entitled "Beyond Secession? Law in the Framing of the National Polity," which is forthcoming in a collective volume on nationalization and globalization from Hart Publishing.  The abstract is below and the full article can be downloaded here.

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This paper examines the legal and political course of contemporary secession struggles within the European Union, with particular reference to the recent Scottish referendum, the 'consultation' in Catalonia, and the developing situation in Flanders. The focus is upon the way in which secession debates have become tied up with the question of the EU membership prospects of the potentially seceding state. The EU institutions themselves have adopted an attitude of 'conservative neutrality' to these prospects and to the legitimacy of secession more generally – a minimalist approach which largely defers to the various and differing domestic constitutional arrangements of the ‘parent’ state and which, at best, does not exclude new membership where secession may be compatible with these domestic arrangements. The paper contrasts the unwillingness of the EU to assume a directorial role in the theatre of European secession – an attitude which has some anomalous consequences but which accurately reflects the EU’s weak legitimacy over such a ‘high political’ question – with its highly significant role in the more elementary matter of stage (re) design. For the very existence and development of the EU as a supranational entity, alters the basic calculus through which we attribute value – both instrumental and expressive – to forms of political life at, above and below the level of the state. And while the full historical consequences of the EU’s reframing exercise remain unsettled and unpredictable, they are already reshaping political expectations and aspirations in ways that alter our very sense of the significance of 'secession' and associated statuses.

The Network on SSRN: Joanna Glowacki and Christoph Henkel on Hydraulic Fracturing in the EU

Network member Christoph Henkel (Mississippi) has posted a new article on SSRN, co-authored with Joanna Glowacki, entitled "Hydraulic Fracturing in the European Union: Leveraging the U.S. Experience in Shale Gas Exploration and Production."  The article is forthcoming in the Indiana International & Comparative Law Review.  The abstract is below and the full article may be downloaded here.

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Hydraulic fracturing has been the subject of much debate recently, both in the United States and increasingly in Europe. Advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have led to a shale gas boom in the United States, significantly lowering natural gas prices, and causing some foreign businesses to move manufacturing plants from Europe to the United States. In the United States, approximately 11,000 new wells are “fracked” each year, adding to the currently existing 35,000 wells. When compared to these numbers, European shale gas exploration remains in its infancy and commercial scale gas extraction has yet to be established. At the same time, many Member States in the European Union consider the exploration of unconventional fossil fuels essential for their energy security and independence from Russian gas.

While natural gas is a cleaner burning fossil fuel than oil, the fracking process itself, as well as its requisite infrastructure, brings with it numerous environmental and health concerns. As shale gas exploration progresses further and is commercially developed, many previously unrecognized and underestimated concerns have become more prevalent. The use of fresh water during the process of fracturing and the potential for pollution of surface and groundwater are only two examples of such concerns. In fact, a clear picture of the types and quantities of chemicals being used as additives in fracking fluids injected into the ground and the risks they may pose for the environment or human health has been lacking. In the United States, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, a permit is required only if diesel fuels are used as additives in fracking fluids. Yet, there is no definite clarity with respect to whether operators are actually using diesel fuels as additives or how much is being used.

With little or no experience in shale gas development, Europe is looking toward the United States as a potential model for its nascent regulatory framework. While there is a patchwork of EU directives that address fracturing, there are specific shortcomings due to the fact that shale gas development has not been pursued in Europe. The European Commission and the European Parliament continue to evaluate the impact of fracturing on the environment and human health, and have already released numerous studies and reports. It is the objective of these initiatives to ensure that the environmental risks arising from shale gas projects and cumulative developments are adequately identified and managed in Europe. In addition, the European Union is attempting to establish a common regulatory approach allowing for a comparable and coherent regulatory environment across the European Union and all its Member States.

This article analyzes the existing regulatory frameworks in the United States and European Union as they relate to hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. It is argued that while the United States’ experience may serve as an example for the European Union, the shale gas boom in the United States has raised a host of environmental and health concerns that need to be addressed. At the same time, the United States may be well advised to consider some of the developments in Europe, where, for example, mutual non-disclosure agreements regarding damages to the environment and human health may not be allowed.