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Where does European law draw its authority from? Putting the European legal field back in


EUROLAWFIELD aims at providing a new conceptual framework to address empirically the following enigma: how can EU laws authority resist in a current context in which:
- the Union is undergoing an unprecedented legitimacy crisis in which the central role of Law and other non-democratically elected EU actors is particularly criticized,
- the cohesion of the EU-specialized legal community is jeopardized by its very success (enlargement of the EU, development of new EU legal domains and sub-fields)

The issue is not only theoretically important but also politically relevant since it is widely acknowledged that the European Union has based much of his legitimacy on Law.

The existing literature has essentially exemplified the role of social interests in the perennial importance of EU law but it has failed to analyze the very contribution of legal actors.

Drawing a new set of concepts imported from the field of international relations studies as well as from the socio-legal one, this proposal intends to overcome this shortcoming.

By putting the social and professional structure of the European Legal Field, EUROLAWFIELD intends to shed a new light on how EU laws authority is secured in a European political order that is still deprived of the conventional warrants of State sovereignty.

The research strategy will follow two directions.

First, it will build on extensive interviews with key Euro-law actors to map the functioning of the European Legal Field. By tracing the careers of particular individuals, it will reveal what sort of connections exists between the various arenas of European law practice.

Second, by analyzing the mobilizations of EU lawyers, it will focus on their attempt to build a common professional identity of jurists in the frame of the European integration process.

These two lines of research will help explain how European Laws authority is collectively built and maintained.

Fields of science

Call for proposal

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Via Dei Roccettini 9
San Domenico Di Fiesole, Firenze

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