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Project description

Constitutionalism in the post-communist Europe

There are various theories on the EU constitutionalism elaborated by scholars. However, the European constitutional imaginaries (ECIs) that consist of the broad intellectual context of these theories and the relationships between them have not been analysed yet. The EU-funded IMAGINE project will study individuals and ideas that have significantly contributed to ECIs, including mainstream and non-widely known thinkers. The project will focus on post-communist Europe’s experience that is ignored by EU constitutional researchers. IMAGINE intends to deliver the first-ever synthesis and critical assessment of the main theories of EU constitutionalism and their mutual relationships. The project will provide an innovative description of ECIs based on their intellectual history in both western and communist Europe, aiming to understand the causes of the rejection of EU constitutionalism by some citizens.


While scholars have presented and promoted a series of specific theories of EU constitutionalism, no one has yet attempted to analyse their wider intellectual context and the relationship among them – what we call here ‘European constitutional imaginaries’ (ECIs). In addition, IMAGINE does not limit this general analysis to the mainstream thinkers writing for the audience located at the supranational/transnational level. It includes the perspective of thinkers writing in particular EU member states. IMAGINE seeks to uncover whether there are individuals and ideas that have made important, yet often overlooked, contributions to ECIs. Crucially, IMAGINE puts emphasis on post-communist Europe’ experience, hitherto mostly ignored in EU constitutional scholarship.
As a result, IMAGINE will provide the first-ever synthesis and critical evaluation of the core theories of EU constitutionalism, theorizing their mutual relationship and the way in which they have influenced each other.
The overarching objective is to provide a novel account of ECIs: one informed by their intellectual history, which comprises both Old and the post-communist Europe, and which seeks to understand the various problems that lead some people to reject EU constitutionalism and its core values, seeing them as mere utopias or oppressing ideologies.
IMAGINE employs an innovative combination of research methods: empirical surveys, citation network analyses and elite in-depth interviews, together with traditional legal analysis. It will involve experts from particular member states though a number of workshops and a conference organized by the IMAGINE Team.
The PI is uniquely placed to realise IMAGINE: now based as a Professor of EU law at an elite socio-legal research centre iCourts (University of Copenhagen), he has participated in EU constitutional discourse both as a scholar and practitioner in one of the member states of post-communist Europe for more than 10 years.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 497 685,00
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)