euro crisis, in particular, brings to light some fundamental problems in the construction
of the European polity which go along with a number of normative and analytical
misconceptions in these academic disciplines. In distinct ways, the dominant
contributions in political science and law turn a blind eye to the essential challenges
exposed both by the crisis and by the crisis politics deployed as a solution. While a
considerable rift continues to separate the disciplines, both show parallels in their
internal struggles over how to deal with the present situation. We show that the
disciplines' respective cores, while disregarding each other, are largely afﬁrmative and
apologetic with regard to the state and progress of European integration, whereas a
critical periphery in both legal and political science intersects in the analysis and
disapproval of an increasingly authoritarian EU which gives rise to a more
fundamental questioning of the path towards an ‘ever closer Union’.
Traditionally, legal and political science have approached their common objects of
study on distinct disciplinary paths. This is also true for the European integration
project. Jürgen Habermas has succinctly characterised their speciﬁcs in one of his
earlier essays on democratic constitutionalism.
Legal scholars and political scientists,
he observed, both tend to deal with law in a distinct disciplinary logic. Lawyers focus
on normative issues and the art of legal reasoning. Social scientists treat law as an
empirical phenomenon. The latter do not engage in a l ege artis interpretation and
application of rules, but explore the impact of law, its effectiveness, and its processes
of implementation. The validity and facticity of law tend to be seen as separate
categories. Lawyers, on the other hand, tend to defend the autonomy of legal
operations and the distinctiveness of doctrinal constructs.
These divisionsnotwithstanding, lawyersand political scientists concernedwith Europe
have long shared a common denominator which underlies their respective research
agendas: a principledenthusiasm for the fostering of integration.Both disciplines provide
essentially compatible rationales for moves towards ‘ever more’and, by conceptual
implication,‘ever better’Europe. This transdisciplinary consensus on the common agenda
has made the disciplinary speciﬁcs and differences seem much less signiﬁcant than the
shared commitment for the progress of the integration project. In political science, Ernst
Haas' neo‐functionalist theory of integration ﬁrst inspired generations of pro‐European
scholars to focus on the potential of shifting the loyalties and expectations of political
actors to the supranational level.
Legal scholarship, on the other hand, in its re‐
constructionof the modes and accomplishments of theintegration project, was fascinated
by its reliance on law: ‘integration through law’became both the trademark and the
agenda of European legal studies.
Law was conceptualised as ‘the object and the agent
and even politicalscientists started talkingabout the determinants of ‘legal
J. Habermas, ‘Über den internen Zusammenhang zwischen Rechtsstaat und Demokratie’,in: U.K. Preuß,
(ed.), Zum Begriff der Verfassung. Die Ordnungdes Politischen (Fischer, 1994), pp. 83–94 [‘On the Internal
Relation between the Rule of Law and Democracy’, in: J. Habermas, The Inclusion of the Other: Studiesin
PoliticalTheory (MIT Press, 1998), pp. 253–264].
E.B. Haas, The Uniting of Europe: Political, Social, and Economic Forces, 1950–1957(University of Notre
Dame Press, 2004).
M. Cappelletti,M. Seccombe and J. Weiler, Integration t hrough Law (Walter d e Gruyter, 1986).
R. Dehousse and J.H.H. Weiler, ‘The Legal Dimension’, in W. Wallace (ed.), The Dynamics of European
Integration(Pinter Publishers forthe Royal Institute of International Affairs,1990), 242–60, at 243.
A.‐M. Burley and W. Mattli,‘Europe Before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration’,(1993)47
Internationa l Organisation,41–76.
European Law Journal Volume 23