The Subjectification of the Citizen in European Public Law
Social Science Research Network
The paper investigates the condition of the individual qua citizen as recognised and shaped by national constitutional democracies and supranational law, the legal and political orders constituting European public law. It firstly spells out the notion of 'subjectification' and its peculiar manifestation in the context of European public law. Then, it offers an excursus on the subjectification of the citizen by looking at its main constitutive dimensions: belonging, rights and participation. The
... participation. The excursus examines three distinct phases of the evolution of European integration. Firstly, it looks at the social state era and the affirmation of the constitutional subject, a type of citizen devised essentially within national constitutional democracies with supranational law offering just additional rights for the economically active. Secondly, it explores the transformation of the constitutional subject prompted by the expansion of supranational law and the emergence of the 'advanced liberalism' agenda. Finally, the paper evaluates the condition of the citizen during the financial crisis, a stage which probably witnesses the twilight of the constitutional subject as conceived of in the social state era. The upshot of this excursus contradicts more conventional accounts for subjectivity in the EU emphasising a civic turn in the understanding of the individual: if the relationships between individuals and the governmental projects constituting European public law are considered, the evolution of European integration is paralleled by an involution of citizenship. Or, at least, of the idea of citizenship imagined in national constitutional democracies in post-World War II.