Individualism: An Essay on the Authority of the European Union

Hardcover | March 20, 2008

byAlexander Somek

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This innovative study examines the authority constituting the European Union. It claims that the type of power constituting a transnational regime transcends traditional forms of constitutional legality. It argues that the European constitutional project is out of step with the normativemake-up of such a regime. It is to be feared, indeed, that the adoption of a Constitution for Europe would create a smokescreen obscuring a new and disturbing reality.Drawing on the ancient tradition of linking different types of political power with the composition of the citizen's soul, the book explains that a transnational regime is based on an understanding of citizenship that is different from that underlying a constitutional democracy. Citizens are deemedto be essentially separate from one another. They abandon the larger society to itself and pursue their good in the private sphere. In place of trust and reliance in their own power to bring about change through common action, they hope to benefit from entrusting "problem-solving" to internationalnetworks of expertise. Essentially, citizens of this kind exhibit a strong commitment to individualism.The book shows how individualism is reflected in the regulatory authority that the Union claims for itself, in particular as regards the regulation of the internal market.

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This innovative study examines the authority constituting the European Union. It claims that the type of power constituting a transnational regime transcends traditional forms of constitutional legality. It argues that the European constitutional project is out of step with the normativemake-up of such a regime. It is to be feared, i...

Alexander Somek holds the Charles E. Floete Chair in Law, University of Iowa, he is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin.

other books by Alexander Somek

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:March 20, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199542082

ISBN - 13:9780199542086

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Power and its Subjects2. Social Visions and the Normative Basis of Risks3. The Malodorous Vice4. Exploring the Normative Question5. Good News for the Bad Habit6. Market Holism Constructed7. The Twilight of Constitutional Law8. Rational Deference and the Emergence of Social Power9. European Citizenship10. Three Types of Normativity11. The Inexpensive Caring State12. The Deep Past