In the Shadows of Statism: Peculiarities of the German Debates on European Integration

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Jan-Werner Müller argues that although for historical reasons Germany has no systematic tradition of Euroscepticism, German politicians and intellectuals have not always been uniformly pro-European for the same reasons. The plans of the federalist movement were conclusively sidelined after 1945, and politicians, while using idealistic pro-European rhetoric, often advanced German interests "in Europe's name". Müller charts the birth of a harsher tone on Europe among politicians as of the mid 1990s; he also shows that constitutional lawyers, and particularly the Constitutional Court as an institution, have been increasingly influential in asserting the need to reign in the ECJ and affirm the nation-states as ultimate Herren der Verträge (masters of the treaties). Intellectual opinion, meanwhile - on the EU constitutional debate in particular - has increasingly split between those hoping for continuous supranational constitutionalisation and those who celebrate legal pluralism and fragmentation of international law. Müller argues that these correspond broadly to the theoretical legacies of Jürgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEuropean Stories
Subtitle of host publicationIntellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191595738
ISBN (Print)9780199594627
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Constitutional Court
  • Constitutionalism
  • Habermas
  • Luhmann
  • Statism


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