Elaine Fahey, Samo Bardutzky, Introductory Chapter: The Subjects and Objects of EU Law: Exploring a Research Platform (August 23, 2016). Introductory Chapter: The Subjects and Objects of EU Law: Exploring a Research Platform (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN
This edited volume explores how we frame the subjects and objects of contemporary European Union (EU) law. The inquiry as to the subjects and objects of public international law is one long scorned upon as fruitless (e.g. Higgins, 1994). Nevertheless, it is a more revealing inquiry in EU law, which has explicitly sought to differentiate itself as a new legal order of public international law with a distinctive framing of its subjects and objects. As the EU’s internal and external competences have evolved, significant changes surround the subjects and objects of contemporary EU law. It may increasingly capture a broader range of actors and interests, intentionally and otherwise. The subjects and objects of EU regulatory frameworks thus raise fundamental issues as to the rule of law as well as the EU’s legitimacy in the wider world. While there may be hundreds of years of work across disciples on the self as subject, the object as an entity often appears as a neglected field of inquiry. The EU treaties and EU law jurisprudence alike reveal a quantifiable panoply of interests, actors, objects and subjects, scattered across them. The collaborative research effort presented in this volume is linked to three primary motifs or considerations in how we frame the subjects and objects of EU law: transformations, the external-internal nexus and crises as to EU law. This edited volume confronts the question how should we understand the dialectic between the subjects and objects in contemporary EU law? Can the objects of EU law so readily become its subjects? What are the normative parameters of the shift from subject to object and object to subject? How are new narratives understood within this dialectic.