The European Courts Political Power: Selected Essays

Paperback | July 17, 2010

byKaren Alter

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Karen Alter's work on the European Court of Justice heralded a new level of sophistication in the political analysis of the controversial institution, through its combination of legal understanding and active engagement with theoretical questions. The European Court's Political Power assemblesthe most important of Alter's articles written over a fourteen year span, adding an original new introduction and a conclusion that takes an overview of the Court's development and current concerns. Together the articles provide insight into the historical and political contours of the ECJ's influence on European politics, explaining how and why the impact of an institution can vary so greatly over time and access different issues. The book starts with the European Coal and Steel Community,where the ECJ was largely unable to facilitate greater member state respect for ECSC rules. Alter then shows how legal actors orchestrated an activist transformation of the European legal system, with the critical aid of jurist advocacy movements, and via the co-optation of national courts. Thetransformation of the European legal system wrested control from member states over the meaning of European law, but the ECJ continues to have varying influence across different issues. Alter explains that the differing influence of the ECJ comes from the varied extent to which sub- andsupra-national actors turn to it to achieve political objectives. Looking beyond the European experience, the book includes four chapters that put the ECJ into a comparative perspective, examining the extent to which the ECJ experience is a unique harbinger of the future role international courts may play in international and comparative politics.

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Karen Alter's work on the European Court of Justice heralded a new level of sophistication in the political analysis of the controversial institution, through its combination of legal understanding and active engagement with theoretical questions. The European Court's Political Power assemblesthe most important of Alter's articles writ...

Karen J. Alter is Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University. She is the author of Establishing the Supremacy of European Law: The Making of an International Rule of Law in Europe (OUP: 2001).

other books by Karen Alter

The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights
The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics,...

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see all books by Karen Alter
Format:PaperbackDimensions:350 pagesPublished:July 17, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199595143

ISBN - 13:9780199595143

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Table of Contents

1. The European Court of Justice Across Time and SpaceI. The ECJ During the Founding Period of Legal Integration (1952-1980)2. The Theory and Reality of the European Coal and Steel Community3. Transnational Jurist Advocacy Networks in Europe: The Role of Euro-law Associations in Promoting Supra-National Integration (1953-1970)4. The European Court of Justice's Political Power5. Who are the Masters of the Treaty? European Governments and the European Court of JusticeII. ECJ and its Varied Influence on European Policy and Politics (1980-2005)6. Judicial Politics in the European Community: European Integration and the Pathbreaking Cassis de Dijon decision7. Explaining Variation in the Use of European Litigation Strategies: EC law and UK Gender Equality Policy8. The European Legal System and Domestic Policy: Spillover or Backlash?9. Banana Splits: Nested and Competing Regimes in the Transatlantic Banana Trade DisputeIII. Beyond European Court Politics10. The European Court and Legal Integration: An Exceptional Story or Harbinger of the Future?11. Agents or Trustees? International Courts in their Political Context12. Private Litigants and the New International Courts13. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Karen Alter has done more than any other scholar to show how the social, political, and historical context in which the European Court of Justice is embedded shapes its role and impact. The four thresholds that she identifies also provide a basic for a comparative analysis of the role ofinternational courts in world politics. With its lucid new introduction, The European Court's Political Power is a "must read" for anyone seeking to understand international courts." --Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University