Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America

By Mark Tushnet | Go to book overview

Foreword: Toward a National Identity in the European Economic Community

This book presupposes the existence of a federal society or association and has as its object the discussion and, one hopes, the elucidation of a number of problems that such a society or association necessarily creates.

The primary question as regards the European Community is whether or not it can be regarded as a federation. The term federation gives rise to many difficulties, largely of a semantic nature. In one sense any association of independent states that band together for a common purpose can be called a federation. In normal usage, however, I suggest that a federation of nation-states needs, at least, to adopt the criteria enunciated by Sir Harry Hinsley: "A single Foreign Office, a single military establishment, a single intelligence service,"1 and to which I would add, "a single currency."

By these standards the European Economic Community is not a federation; it is an association of states and no more. In many respects, certainly, it is a highly integrated association of states, but one that falls short of the requirements just mentioned. To quote Sir Harry Hinsley again

[T]he transition from being the closest possible association of states to being even the loosest of all possible single body--politics, is a leap-a momentous step. It requires the dramatic exercise of political will, and the requisite will is generated only when exceptional pressures of force or fear, internal or external, prevail over obstacles that are normally insuperable.

Sir Harry Hinsley instances the threat of war that impelled the North German States, in the middle of the nineteenth century, to move from the Zollverein, a customs union, to a confederation; the conditions in 1776 facing the colonies that became the United States; and the offer of union that Britain made to France in 1940 under even more severe pressures.

-vii-

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Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions In Legal Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword: Toward a National Identity in the European Economic Community vii
  • Notes x
  • Preface xi
  • 1: The First Phases of American Federalism 1
  • Notes 16
  • 2: Economic Integration and Interregional Migration in the United States Federal System 21
  • Notes 50
  • 3: Preservation of Cultural Diversity in a Federal System: The Role of the Regions 67
  • 3: Preservation of Cultural Diversity in a Federal System 67
  • Notes 75
  • 4: Putting Up and Putting Down: Tolerance Reconsidered 77
  • Notes 105
  • 5: Protecting Human Rights in a Federal System 115
  • Notes 133
  • 6: Conclusion 139
  • Notes 150
  • Bibliographical Essay 153
  • References 159
  • Index 163
  • About the Editor and Contributors 167
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