The EU Rights Revolution: Adversarial Legalism and European Integration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Examines the impact of EU institutional structure on individual rights litigation. Kelemen argues that EU institutions have encouraged a particular type of law and regulation, 'adversarial legalism', a factor that has led to an increased amount of litigation by both public authorities and private parties. The analysis illustrates how the creation of EU rights empowers societal actors in the enforcement of EU law and encourages strict centralization of enforcement by the European Commission. Kelemen explores various public-interest legal domains to illustrate how this enforcement mechanism has shifted the balance of power away from member state governments. The five sections of the chapter are: Introduction; The Institutional Foundations of the EU Rights Revolution-an examination of how the basic institutional structure of the EU is conducive to the proliferation of rights and an adversarial litigious approach to enforcement; The Legal Foundations of the EU Rights Revolution-a review of recent developments in EU law that have expanded the legal basis for EU rights litigation; The Societal Foundations of the EU Rights Revolution-an investigation of the variety of social and institutional arrangements at the national level that are likely to influence patterns of rights litigation; and Conclusion-a presentation of findings from a survey of EU interest associations concerning their use of litigation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe State of the European Union
Subtitle of host publicationLaw, Politics, and Society
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191600951
ISBN (Print)019925740x, 9780199257409
StatePublished - Apr 7 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Adversarial litigation
  • Balance of power
  • EU
  • EU Law
  • EU Rights
  • EU Society
  • EU institutions
  • Enforcement
  • Eu Regulation
  • Eu interest associations
  • European commission
  • Institutional structure
  • Institutions
  • Interest associations
  • Litigation
  • Litigation strategies
  • Rights litigation


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