The project is funded by the ERC Starting Grant (803163) with Professor Jan Komárek as the Principal Investigator. It runs from February 2019 for five years and investigates constitutional imaginaries behind the European integration project at both national and the EU level.
AGENDA: While scholars have presented and promoted a series of specific theories of EU constitutionalism, no one has yet attempted to analyse their wider intellectual context and the relationship among them – what we call ‘European constitutional imaginaries’ (ECIs). In addition, IMAGINE does not limit this general analysis to the mainstream thinkers writing for the audience located at the supranational/transnational level. It includes the perspective of thinkers writing in particular EU member states. IMAGINE seeks to uncover whether there are individuals and ideas that have made important, yet often overlooked, contributions to ECIs. Crucially, IMAGINE puts emphasis on post-communist Europe’s experience, until now mostly ignored in EU constitutional scholarship.
OBJECTIVE: As a result, IMAGINE will provide the first-ever synthesis and critical evaluation of the core theories of EU constitutionalism, theorising their mutual relationship and the ways in which they have influenced each other.
The overarching objective is to provide a novel account of ECIs: one informed by their intellectual history, which comprises both post-communist an “Old” Europe. It seeks to understand the various problems that lead some people to reject EU constitutionalism and its core values, seeing them as mere utopias or oppressing ideologies. IMAGINE employs an innovative combination of research methods: empirical surveys, citation network analyses and in-depth interviews, together with traditional legal analysis. It will involve experts from particular member states through a number of workshops and a conference organised by the IMAGINE Team.
Read a conceptual note for the project here.