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Bound by the Economic Constitution: Notes for “Law and Political Economy” in Europe

  • Author(s): Kampourakis, Ioannis
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license
Abstract

The aspiration of this article is to start a conversation about the possible contribution of a Law and Political Economy research agenda in Europe. I first unpack the role of law in structuring the economy at the supranational level by examining the legacy of ordoliberalism and the Economic Constitution of the EU as the normative project of insulating the internal market from political contestation. I then attempt to map the critical approaches that challenge the depoliticization of the economy and constitute the backdrop for an emerging LPE agenda. In particular, I discuss negative universalism, which focuses on the legal form as a limit to power and as enabling particular causes to make claims in universal terms; instrumentalism, which favors politicizing the law to advance egalitarian agendas; and counter-hegemony, which looks to civil society and to social transformation beyond the state. Concluding with a call for pragmatic and contextual critical practice, I attempt to carve out a space for an LPE in Europe agenda rooted in the normative commitment to democracy and equality as a form of immanent critique, in the aspiration to use institutions for social transformation, and in an orientation towards democratic power-building.

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