Peter Lindseth, LAPA Fellow and University of Connecticut School of Law

National Democracy / Supranational Delegation

Mon, 12/10/2007
4:30-6:00 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall
Event Category: 

Professor Lindseth will present one of his recent papers, "National Democracy / Supranational Delegation: The Postwar Constitutional Settlement and National Legitimation in European Public Law." Gráinne de Búrca, professor of law at Fordham Law School, will be the commentator.


This article suggests a new historical synthesis to explain the persistence of national legitimating mechanisms in the public law of European integration over the last half-century. Each of the mechanisms it describes – executive, legislative, and judicial – can be traced back to what Professor Lindseth has previously called the “postwar constitutional settlement” of administrative governance on the national level. Moreover, each mechanism seeks to address, albeit from a different angle, the core institutional contradiction of European integration: on the one hand, significant normative power has been delegated to the supranational level; but on the other hand, there has been little or no shift in the mechanisms of specifically democratic legitimation out of national constitutional bodies – executive, legislative, and judicial. Consistent with the postwar constitutional settlement, these same bodies have remained ultimately essential to the legitimation of administrative governance in its now supranational form.

Author and Commentator

Peter Lindseth is a professor of law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he has taught since 2000. In 2007-2008, he is also a LAPA Fellow. As a legal historian, Peter Lindseth’s research focuses on the relationship between the structural development of state institutions and the evolution of public law doctrine and jurisprudence, focusing on Western Europe and North America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, and the University of Toronto Law Journal, among others. Professor Lindseth holds a B.A. and J.D. from Cornell, and a M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia, where he was also Managing Editor of The Columbia Journal of European Law. For more on Professor Lindseth, see his LAPA page.

Gráinne de Búrca is professor of law at Fordham Law School. Before that, she was been professor of European Union Law at the European University Institute from 1998-2005, and a lecturer in law at Oxford University and fellow of Somerville College from 1990-1998. She has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Toronto, Michigan and Columbia. Her field of expertise is broadly in EU law, with particular focus on constitutional issues of European integration, EU human rights policy and European and transnational governance. With Paul Craig, she is co-author of the textbook EU Law, currently in its 4th edition, and the author of many articles on European law, European integration and the European human rights regime. For more, see her bio at Fordham Law