Despite western Europe's traditional disdain for the United States' "adversarial legalism," the European Union is shifting toward a very similar approach to the law, according to Daniel Kelemen. Coining the term "eurolegalism" to describe the hybrid that is now developing in Europe, he shows how the political and organizational realities of the EU make this shift inevitable.
The model of regulatory law that had long predominated in western Europe was more informal and cooperative than its American counterpart. It relied less on lawyers, courts, and private enforcement, and more on opaque networks of bureaucrats and other interests that developed and implemented regulatory policies in concert. European regulators chose flexible, informal means of achieving their objectives, and counted on the courts to challenge their decisions only rarely. Regulation through litigation-central to the U.S. model-was largely absent in Europe.
But that changed with the advent of the European Union. Kelemen argues that the EU's fragmented institutional structure and the priority it has put on market integration have generated political incentives and functional pressures that have moved EU policymakers to enact detailed, transparent, judicially enforceable rules-often framed as "rights"-and back them with public enforcement litigation as well as enhanced opportunities for private litigation by individuals, interest groups, and firms.
R. Daniel Kelemen is the Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Center for European Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.
What People are Saying About This
Alec Stone Sweet
Eurolegalism is one of the most important books ever written on the European Court of Justice and the European Union's legal system. It may, in fact, be the best book. Alec Stone Sweet, Yale Law School
This clearly argued and exhaustively researched book makes an important and original contribution to our understanding of the legal impact of the EU. It deserves to be carefully read not only by those interested in the development of European institutions, but by students of comparative legal studies.
David Vogel, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley