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Two-and-a-half ways of thinking about the European Union.

Schütze, Robert (2016) 'Two-and-a-half ways of thinking about the European Union.', Politique européene., 53 (3). pp. 28-37.


This article argues that the sui generis theory is a ‘negative’ and ‘unhistorical’ theory. It lacks explanatory value for it is based on a conceptual tautology (Hay, 1966, 37): the European Union is… . what it is; and it is not.… what it is not! Second, the sui generis theory moreover only views the Union in negative terms – it is neither international organisation nor Federal State – and thus indirectly perpetuates the conceptual foundations of the Westphalian tradition. Is there a better way of thinking about the European Union? This article argues that ‘federal’ thinking provides a rich key to unlocking the nature of the European Union.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:19 July 2016
Date deposited:28 July 2016
Date of first online publication:2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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