The Embedded Acquis Communautaire: Transmission Belt and Prism of New Governance

Antje Wiener

in European Integration After Amsterdam

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296409
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599989 | DOI:
 The Embedded Acquis Communautaire: Transmission Belt and Prism of New Governance

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The European Union offers crucial insights into the gradual shift from Weberian form of modern ‘government’ towards the institutionalization of post‐Weberian ‘governance’. The article argues that the emerging ‘polity of polities’ context not only threatens the constitutional basis of democratic rule but also raises the questions of what exactly the new institutions of governance beyond the nation‐state are, and what they imply for the functioning (rules of the game) and legitimacy (democratic processes) of the political order. In an effort to elaborate on these questions, the article develops two themes. First, it raises critical questions about the conceptual boundedness of ‘governance’ in the discussion of constitutional and policy studies within the field of European integration. Secondly, it advances a methodological access point for the study of the institutionalization of governance in the Euro‐polity. It suggests situating the legal concept of acquis communautaire at the boundary of legal studies and politics. The concept is then applied to a case study of citizenship policy in the EU to demonstrate how the acquis communautaire—more precisely, the ‘embedded acquis communautaire’—facilitates methodological access to the study of the institutionalization of governance beyond the state and despite states.

Keywords: acquis communautaire; citizenship; constitution; democracy; European integration; European Union; governance; government; legitimacy; polity

Chapter.  11080 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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