Altiero Spinelli and the Idea of the US Constitution as a Model for Europe: The Promises and Pitfalls of an Analogy

Andrew Glencross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Altiero Spinelli believed European integration needed to draw inspiration from the US constitutional founding. The article uses Spinelli’s analogy to assess how useful it is to compare the predicament of European integration with US constitutional politics. The analysis reveals both how Spinelli exaggerated the extent to which the US Constitution established and delimited federal political authority once and for all as well the way in which, despite its functionalist non-constitutional origins, the EU has experienced its own brand of constitutional politics. The analogy is thus most useful in showing how both polities faced similar tensions over the process of constitutionalism, restraining unit sovereignty, and the institutionalization of popular sovereignty at the federal level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-307
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Volume47
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jan 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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