What Law for What Polity? ‘Integration through Law’ in the European Union Revisited
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book illustrates how debates on the European Union's (EU's) unity-in-diversity conundrum connect to different conceptions and roles of law in the European integration process. While for early Integration through Law School, law's advance was in part attributable to an explicit lack of political integration, increasing concerns Europe's 'democratic deficit' have alerted scholars to law's ambiguous post-national relationship to the political sphere. While, on former view, positing law as an agent and object of integration trigger a gradual process of social convergence constitutive of an emerging European identity, on latter view the socio-cultural embeddedness of law precludes any meaningful integration of different national legal orders. Accordingly, the very elements in the EU's 'turn to governance' which invited democratic and political concerns such as lack of legal and parliamentary oversight over its procedures may yet provide opportunities for a politicization of 'integration through law'.