New Books in the Arts & Sciences

Celebrating Recent Work by Turkuler Isiksel

Monday, December 5, 2016  6:15pm - 8:15pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated


Heyman Center for the Humanities

European Institute

Dean of Humanities, School of Arts and Sciences

Dean of Social Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy


Europe’s Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism beyond the State 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences
         —panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty

Constitutionalism has become a byword for legitimate government, but is it fated to lose its relevance as constitutional states relinquish power to international institutions? This book evaluates the extent to which constitutionalism, as an empirical idea and normative ideal, can be adapted to institutions beyond the state by surveying the sophisticated legal and political system of the European Union. Having originated in a series of agreements between states, the EU has acquired important constitutional features like judicial review, protections for individual rights, and a hierarchy of norms. Nonetheless, it confounds traditional models of constitutional rule to the extent that its claim to authority rests on the promise of economic prosperity and technocratic competence rather than on the democratic will of citizens. Critically appraising the European Union and its legal system, this book proposes the idea of 'functional constitutionalism' to describe this distinctive configuration of public power. Although the EU is the most advanced instance of functional constitutionalism to date, understanding this pragmatic mode of constitutional authority is essential for assessing contemporary international economic governance.


  • Author

    Turkuler Isiksel

    James P. Shenton Assistant Professor of the Core Curriculum

    Columbia University

  • Discussant

    Nadia Urbinati

    Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies

    Columbia University

  • Discussant

    Katharina Pistor

    Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law

    Columbia Law School

  • Discussant

    Mattias Kumm

    Inge Rennert Professor of Law

    New York University

  • Chair

    Jack Lewis Snyder

    Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations in Political Science

    Columbia University


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