Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe

OUP Oxford
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Governing with Judges elaborates a theory of constitutional politics, the process through which the discursive practices and techniques of constitutional adjudication come to structure the work of governments, parliaments, judges, and administrators. Focusing on the cases of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the European Union, the book examines the sources and consequences of the pan-European movement to confer constitutional review authority on a new governmental institution, the constitutional court. Detailed case studies illustrate how and to what extent legislative processes have been placed under the influence of constitutional judges. In a growing number of policy domains, these judges function as powerful, adjunct legislators. As constitutional courts have consolidated their position as authoritative interpreters of the constitutional law, and especially of human rights provisions, the work of the judiciary, too, has gradually been constitutionalised. Today, ordinary judges seek to detect violations of the constitution in their application of the various codes, and to rewrite statutes that they deem unconstitutional. Constitutional politics have not only provoked the demise of traditional notions of parliamentary sovereignty, they have organized profound transformations in the very nature of European governance. Stone Sweet argues that constitutional adjudication constructs complex causal linkages between rule systems and normativity, on the one hand, and the strategic behaviour of individuals, on the other. The theory constitutes a novel synthesis of normative and rational approaches to politics. The book also addresses central questions raised by a wide range of ongoing theory projects, including the 'new institutionalism,'rational choice, principal-agent theories of delegation, and the new constitutionalism in Continental legal theory.
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About the author

Alec Stone Sweet is Official Fellow in Politics, Chair in Comparative Government, Nuffield College, Oxford University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Jan 27, 2000
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Pages
246
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ISBN
9780191522833
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Constitutional
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / Constitutions
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Who makes constitutional law? Is constitutional doctrine the monopoly of the courts? In accessible and persuasive prose Louis Fisher explains that constitutional law is not solely or even primarily the Supreme Court's "final word" but rather a richly political convergence of separate interpretations. With a broad range of examples, he argues that constitutional principles emerge from a dialogue among all three branches of government--executive, legislative, and judicial. Important contributions also come from the states and the general public. Fisher identifies executive and legislative initiatives in many areas of constitutional significance. Where there is litigation, the Court generally upholds these initiatives or may avoid making a constitutional decision by using "threshold devices." On those rare occasions when the Supreme Court exercises judicial review and strikes down a presidential or congressional action, it is usually only a matter of time before the proposal is revived and the dialogue begins again.

Originally published in 1988.

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The law and politics of European integration have been inseparable since the 1960s, when the European Court of Justice rendered a set of foundational decisions that gradually served to 'constitutionalize' the Treaty of Rome. In this book, Alec Stone Sweet, one of the world's foremost social scientists and legal scholars, blends deductive theory, quantitative analysis of aggregate data, and qualitative case studies to explain the dynamics of European integration and institutional change in the EU since 1959. He shows that the activities of market actors, lobbyists, legislators, litigators, and judges became connected to one another in various ways, giving the EU its fundamentally expansionary character. He then assesses the impact of Europe's unique legal system on the evolution of supranational governance, tracing outcomes in three policy domains: free movement of goods, sex equality, and environmental protection. The book integrates diverse themes, including: the testing of hypotheses derived from regional integration theory; the 'judicialization' of legislative processes; the path dependence of precedent and legal argumentation; the triumph of the 'rights revolution' in the EU; delegation, agency, and trusteeship; balancing as a technique of judicial rulemaking and governance; and why national administration and justice have been steadily 'Europeanized'. Written for a broad audience, the book is also recommended for use in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in law and the social sciences.
'A nation without a national government is an awful spectacle.' In the winter of 1787-8 a series of eighty-five essays appeared in the New York press; the purpose of the essays was to persuade the citizens of New York State to ratify the Constitution of the United States. The three authors - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay - were respectively the first Secretary of the Treasury, the fourth President, and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in American history. Each had played a crucial role in the events of the American Revolution; together they were convinced of the need to weld thirteen disparate and newly-independent states into a union. Their essays make the case for a new and united nation, governed under a written Constitution that endures to this day. The Federalist Papers are an indispensable guide to the intentions of the founding fathers who created the United States, and a canonical text in the development of western political thought. This new edition pays full attention to the classical learning of their authors and the historical examples they deploy. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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The European Union began in 1957 as a treaty among six nations but today constitutes a supranational polity - one that creates rules that are binding on its 15 member countries and their citizens. In this majesterial study, a team of distinguished scholars offers a fresh and coherent explanation of the remarkable development of the EU, drawing evidence from both broad data and focused case studies. - ;The European Union began in 1957 as a treaty among six nations but today constitutes a supranational polity - one that creates rules that are binding on its 15 member countries and their citizens. This majesterial study confronts some of the most enduring questions posed by the remarkable evolution of the EU: Why does policy-making sometimes migrate from the member states to the European Union? And why has integration proceeded more rapidly in some policy domains than in others? A distinguished team of scholars lead by Wayne Sandholtz and Alec Stone Sweet offers a fresh theory and clear propositions on the development of the EU. Combining broad data and probing case studies, the volume finds solid support for these propositions in a variety of policy domains. The coherent theoretical approach and extensive empirical analyses together constitute a significant challenge to approaches that see the EU as a straightforward product of member-state interests, power, andbargaining. This volume clearly demonstrates that a nascent transnational society and supranational institutions have played decisive roles in constructing the European Union. -
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