The Liberal Drift of Multilevel Governance
Routledge – 2010 – 184 pages
This book contributes to the literature on the change of governance in the context of its European multilevel organization. The integration of Europe is a process of fundamental social change: a process of constructing a European society and of deconstructing the national societies.
Münch demonstrates that there is a movement away from republican and representative features of a democracy and towards liberal and pluralistic features. The book illustrates this change in the nature of European political regulation, European jurisdiction and the intellectual debates in France, Germany and Britain on legitimising the emerging system of multilevel governance. He discusses how far the new European regime of liberal governmentality converges with the US-American type of constitutional liberalism. Following a sociological approach, the book focuses on identifying the causes, features and consequences of the fundamental social change taking place in the process of European integration.
This book will be of interest to scholars and graduate students from political science, sociology, law and philosophy interested in political theory, comparative politics, international relations and political communication as well as practitioners of policy-making in governments, administration, parties, associations and the media.
1. Introduction 2. European Regulation: Towards an Adversarial Process 3. European Law: Constructing a Liberal Society by Jurisdiction 4. The French Dilemma: Post-national Republicanism against Economic Liberalism 5. The German Dilemma: Constitutional Federalism against Unconstitutional Supranationalism 6. The British Dilemma: Free Trade and Domestic Parliamentary Sovereignty against Foreign Supranational Rule 7. Conclusion: Constitutional Liberalism as a Model for the Semantic Construction of Europe?
Richard Münch is Professor of Sociology at Bamberg University, Germany. He is Associate Editor of the journal Sociological Theory. His most recent publications include Nation and Citizenship in the Global Age and The Ethics of Modernity.