The law and politics of European integration have been inseparable since the 1960s, when the European Court of Justice rendered a set of foundational decisions that gradually served to 'constitutionalize' the Treaty of Rome. In this book, Alec Stone Sweet, one of the world's foremost social scientists and legal scholars, blends deductive theory, quantitative analysis of aggregate data, and qualitative case studies to explain the dynamics of European integration and institutional change in the EU since 1959. He shows that the activities of market actors, lobbyists, legislators, litigators, and judges became connected to one another in various ways, giving the EU its fundamentally expansionary character. He then assesses the impact of Europe's unique legal system on the evolution of supranational governance, tracing outcomes in three policy domains: free movement of goods, sex equality, and environmental protection.
The book integrates diverse themes, including: the testing of hypotheses derived from regional integration theory; the 'judicialization' of legislative processes; the path dependence of precedent and legal argumentation; the triumph of the 'rights revolution' in the EU; delegation, agency, and trusteeship; balancing as a technique of judicial rulemaking and governance; and why national administration and justice have been steadily 'Europeanized'. Written for a broad audience, the book is also recommended for use in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in law and the social sciences.