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Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State Hardcover – September 23, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0195390148 ISBN-10: 0195390148

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Editorial Reviews


"Peter Lindseth brings real historical depth to the vexed question of the special legal character of the European Union. His conclusion that the European project signals a new transnational stage in administrative governance and administrative law is supported by a rich exploration of the evolving institutional forms and political cultures of the twentieth century European state. Lindseth's urbane style, his subtle grasp of comparative detail, his steady attention to the big picture and his unswerving commitment to making sense of supranational Europe in terms that emphasize the continuity of our legal imagination make this a compelling and rewarding achievement."
- Neil Walker
Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations, The University of Edinburgh School of Law

"Peter Lindseth has written an important book, which has found its moment. Lindseth explains why the EU represents an international offshoot of the administrative state as established at national level. His original and persuasive account, grounded in European political history, has important implications for legitimacy, control and accountability in the EU, explained in exemplary fashion."
--Carol Harlow
Emeritus Professor of Law, Law Department, London School of Economics

"Peter Lindseth has written a rich and historically informed work that tackles a question of enduring significance for the European Union, namely what the basic source of legitimacy is for this unique supranational economic and political organization. His answer presents a clear challenge to the dominant constitutional understanding of the EU today by arguing that it is best understood as a system of delegated administrative governance, which, following principal-agent theory, rests on national sources of democratic and constitutional legitimacy. Even for those who do not agree with his characterization of the EU, this book is a worthwhile and absorbing read."
--Grainne De Burca
Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"A highly valuable analysis of the administrative roots of the European Union, which will be of real service to scholars and students in the field. Lindseth provides a nuanced and compelling account of the sources of European legitimacy, which makes an important contribution to our understanding of the roots and future possibilities of European integration."
-Francesca Bignami
George Washington University Law School, OpinioJuris.org

"[A] rich comparative and historical account of European integration. Lindseth sets a timely and important scholarly agenda calling for a more penetrating analysis of European integration, its past and its future, through a careful understanding of what ideas were received and promoted by political and legal elites and what were the unintended consequences of the integration process."
-Fernanda Nicola
American University, Washington College of Law, OpinioJuris.org

"An outstanding theoretical account of the concept of legitimacy. I commend it to everyone."
-Ken Anderson, American University, Washington College of Law, OpinioJuris.org
Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University

"For historians, legal scholars and political scientists interested in the EU's legitimacy, Power and Legitimacy is a must read. Exhaustively researched and carefully argued, it is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship and analysis."
--R. Daniel Kelemen, Rutgers University, The Columbia Journal of European Law

"A major contribution to the history of European integration . . . a major accomplishment of historical literature, well written, original and thought provoking. This is simply mandatory reading for any scholar of European integration history."
--Morten Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen, Journal of European Integration History

"If our quest is for a systematic, elegant, and compelling theory of European integration that performs consistently on both the descriptive and the normative planes, then Power and Legitimacy is one of the very best examples of its kind. If the present author's experience is any guide, scholars of the constitutional persuasion will find themselves reopening a case they thought they had won."
-Türküler Isiksel, Columbia University, European Constitutional Law Review

"A sober, historically grounded reminder of the EU's roots in national constitutional law and of the fact that the European Union institutions exercise powers delegated to them under national constitutional law... superbly done and full of new insights."
-Bruno De Witte, University of Maastricht, European Constitutional Law Review

"The thorough analysis of national executive leadership, parliamentary scrutiny, and judicial review that Lindseth undertakes . . . leads to a clear-cut opposition between 'administrative' and 'constitutional' integration. This is a step forward in our intellectual debates."
-Stefano Bartolini, European University Institute, European Constitutional Law Review

About the Author

Peter L. Lindseth is the Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He has taught at Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, and also has held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt), the European University Institute (Florence), and the French Council of State (Paris), among other institutions. Professor Lindseth holds a BA and JD from Cornell and a PhD in European history from Columbia.

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