chapter  3
14 Pages

Taking Agency Seriously

An Examination of Legal Integration and Constitutionalism
ByAlun Gibbs

This chapter considers the background to an understanding of European integration as being concerned with the agency of law. It also considers how our conception of law, in the integration process, hinges upon an understanding of what is meant by law's agency. The chapter explores two senses of the agency of law: the first an idea that law 'acts on' political and social practices and the second that it 'acts with' such practices. It argues that the virtue of constitutionalism is to explore our agency through the law by revealing the intimations of law in fostering a language capable of conveying our reflections, and practices, concerning the common commitments we make as a political community. The chapter explores the question of integration through the law by highlighting the significance of the contribution of Dehousse and Weiler in drawing attention to the question of the agency of law in the integration process.