Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe

Paperback | February 3, 2000

byAlec Stone Sweet

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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 havebeen 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 rightsprovisions, 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 provokedthe 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. Thebook 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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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 boo...

Alec Stone Sweet is Official Fellow in Politics, Chair in Comparative Government, Nuffield College, Oxford University.
Format:PaperbackPublished:February 3, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198297718

ISBN - 13:9780198297710

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Table of Contents

1. Governing with Judges2. Constitutional Adjudication and Parliamentary Democracy3. Legislating4. Protecting Rights5. The Politics of Judging6. Constructing a Supranational Constitution7. Theory of Constitutional Politics

Editorial Reviews

`For those of us who study judges, this is a book that is well worth the reading.'Donald W Jackson, The Law and Politics Book Review. Vol.10, No.8.