The Legitimacy of European Constitutional Orders


The Legitimacy of European Constitutional Orders

A Comparative Inquiry

9781803928883 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Marco Dani, Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy, Marco Goldoni, Professor of Philosophy of Law, School of Law, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK and Agustín José Menéndez, Associate Professor of Political Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Society, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80392 888 3 Extent: 342 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

The Legitimacy of European Constitutional Orders is a systematic and comparative study of European constitutional orders, which takes into consideration the national constitutional trajectories of European countries, as well as the defining power of EU law. Drawing on a wealth of case studies, this book explores the conceptual tools needed to undertake comparative reconstruction and assessment of national and supranational constitutional developments in the European context.

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
The Legitimacy of European Constitutional Orders is a systematic and comparative study of European constitutional orders, taking into consideration the national constitutional traditions of European countries, as well as the defining power of EU law.

Drawing on a wealth of case studies, this book explores the trajectories followed by European national constitutional orders in their efforts to attain legitimacy. More in particular, the book investigates Bruce Ackerman’s influential world constitutionalism project and engages with the three legitimacy pathways put forward therein; that is, the revolutionary, the establishment, and the elite pathways. Such ideal trajectories are revisited and found in need of being questioned so as to furnish the conceptual tools essential in the efforts of reconstructing and assessing the European constitutional orders. The book also considers the relevance of constitutional transformation and change in comparative constitutional law, and accounts for the manifold impacts of the European integration process on national constitutional trajectories.

Offering an original perspective on the issue of constitutional legitimacy in the European context, this comprehensive book will be of interest to scholars and students of comparative law, constitutional law, European law, political science and constitutional theory as well as researchers and practitioners in these fields.
Critical Acclaim
‘This edited volume stands out in the literature for its genuinely innovative contribution to our understanding of postwar European constitutionalism. Analyzing European constitutional histories through the prism of Bruce Ackerman''s work on revolutionary constitutionalism, the chapters combine careful contextual analysis with US-style grand theory, offering the best of both worlds. By retelling the stories of our origins, this collection provides new insights and inspires us to think more deeply about where we are headed. It deserves a wide readership, both in Europe and beyond.’
– Michaela Hailbronner, University of Münster, Germany

‘A textured, polyphonic reply to Ackerman’s Revolutionary Constitutions, this highly readable volume offers fresh analyses of constitutional transformation in several European countries, connecting national experiences to supra-national developments and revisiting critically Ackerman’s taxonomies. An essential contribution to the literature on European constitutionalism and constitutional theory, this is comparative teamwork at its best.’
– Daniela Caruso, Boston University, US
Contributors: Bruce Ackerman, Marina Bán, Justin Collings, Marco Dani, Alessandra Di Martino, Sacha Garben, Marco Goldoni, Signe Rehling Larsen, Arnaud Le Pillouer, Martin Loughlin, Agustín José Menéndez, Teresa Violante, Michael Wilkinson

1 Treading alongside the legitimacy pathways: an introduction 1
Marco Dani, Marco Goldoni and Agustín José Menéndez

2 The democratic and social constitutional state as
the paradigm of the post-World War II European
constitutional experience 19
Marco Dani
3 The concept of revolution as a key to comparison:
Ackerman’s ‘Revolutionary Constitutions’ and Gramsci’s
‘Passive Revolutions’ 43
Alessandra Di Martino
4 Constitutionalism in postwar Europe: revolutionary or
counter-revolutionary? 64
Michael Wilkinson

5 A republic of parties: the Italian constitutional order
through the lenses of the constitutional regime 94
Marco Goldoni
6 Portugal: from transformative to open constitutionalism 113
Teresa Violante
7 Is France (really) revolutionary? 137
Arnaud Le Pillouer

8 The British constitution in Ackerman’s worldview: a critique 158
Martin Loughlin
9 Constitutional pathways in Scandinavia 177
Signe Rehling Larsen
10 The Elites, the People, and their Court 214
Justin Collings
11 Revolution and elite negotiations: deconstructing
constitutional pathways in Hungary and Poland 234
Marina Bán

12 The constitutionalization of European integration as
a single, protracted ‘constitutional moment’ towards the
establishment of EU final authority 259
Sacha Garben
13 Incompatible constitutional paths? Making (constitutional)
sense of the existential crisis of the European Union 282
Agustín José Menéndez
14 Afterword: European dilemmas 304
Bruce Ackerman

My Cart