Human Rights and European Integration – University of Copenhagen

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22 February 2013

Human Rights and European Integration

New chapter by Mikael Rask Madsen

The notion of Europe as an integrated social, political and legal entity is for most observers practically synonymous with the European Union. One area, however, where the symbolic hegemony of the EU on the notion of Europe does not reflect the actual players and processes is European human rights. Human Rights, nevertheless, are today integral to European integration.

In the chapter “Human Rights and European Integration: From Institutional Divide to Convergent Practice” Mikael Rask Madsen tracks the evolution of human rights in Europe at large from the late 1940s to the drafting of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. It demonstrates how the originally divided legal space of Europe – between Strasbourg and Brussels/Luxembourg – today increasingly integrates in new and different Europe of human rights.

Mikael Rask Madsen, ‘Human Rights and European Integration: From Institutional Divide to Convergent Practice', in Niilo Kauppi (ed.), Political Sociology of Transnational Europe (ECPR Press, 2013).

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"Social science considerations of Europe and European integration have been colonised by 'new institutionalisms,' whether the rational choice version that mimics economics or the alternative 'historical' variety, both rooted in Anglophone debates. Political sociology has been relatively absent, alas, partly because sociology has been fragmented by national concerns and multiple social problem orientations.

A Political Sociology of Transnational Europe is a splendid launching pad for the intellectual game change that is needed. The book brings together an all-star international cast of political sociologists who present refreshing and different approaches that elucidate much about today's unprecedented crisis conditions in Europe. In practically every essay we learn that the world of politics is much more than national institutions and that analysing it demands much more than national state-centered theories and methods can give us."

George Ross,
ad personam Jean Monnet Chair at the Université de Montréal,
Morris Hillquit Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, and,
Faculty associate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University