The Court’s Role in Processes of European Integration

  • Marie De Somer
Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)


This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of prior political science works on the CJEU’s role and autonomy. The chapter traces these works from their origins in 1980s contextualist legal literature, over their meta-theoretical phases during the 1990s, up onto the most recent writings. Whilst debates on the CJEU’s role have been declared ‘closed’ or ‘resolved’ at various stages over this long time period, claims and counter-claims on the interpretative leeway the Court enjoys relative to the EU Member States continue to claim the attention of the field. The chapter’s concluding section retraces the different sets of hindrances of both a theoretical and methodological nature that account for the striking perseverance of these academic divides. The findings on these theoretical and methodological hindrances constitute the background against which, in the chapter’s final section, the theoretical perspectives and methodological strategies of the present study are presented in detail.


Contextualist legal scholarship Neofunctionalism Intergovernmentalism Qualitative research Quantitative research Observational equivalence 


Primary Sources

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie De Somer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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