The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark Handbook is designed to provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU; reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular; and explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system.
Constitutional Politics in the European Union may be thought of as a double oxymoron. The first paradox arises from the association of politics with constitutionalism, for constitutionalism is often understood as a (legal) limit to the means and ends of politics. The second apparent contradiction lies in linking the idea of the modern constitution – an institutional form developed in conjunction with the nation-state -with an organization, the EU, which is at best supra- or post-national. Obviously, in writing on constitutional politics as an aspect of European integration, we reject such stylized views. Nonetheless, both views stand to remind us that the very subject matter of this chapter is open to contestation. The first section of the chapter will therefore address the ...