Hugo Canihac: “The Professional Constitutions of Europe: The Eclipse of EU Constitutional Scholarship in France”
This paper aims to cast light on the relative silence of French scholarship in the contemporary transnational debate about EU constitutional matters. It seeks to understand why, over time, French scholarship has increasingly been muted. The argument put forward to explain this observation rests on the history of the professional constructions of this scholarship. It can be summarized as follows: The transnational constitutional scholarship on Community law, on the one hand, increasingly went through a double process of professionalization and of disciplinary opening from the early 1990s. This has produced the hybrid figure of the European constitutional lawyer, working at the disciplinary intersection of EEC/EU law and constitutional law, broadly defined. In France, on the other hand, after a period of initial convergence, EEC/EU scholarship and constitutional scholarship have followed gradually divergent disciplinary paths. This not only hindered the dialogue between the two groups of scholars in France; it also made it rather difficult for French EEC/EU lawyers to take part in the transnational constitutional debate. In short, the professional division of labour between French constitutional and EEC/EU scholars was not paralleled in the transnational arena, where both tended to converge from the 1990s. Thus more generally, in the making of EU constitutional scholarship, it shows that there is no necessary convergence of national and transnational scholarships.
You can download the working paper at the SSRN.