Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law


Author: David M. Trubek, Patrick Cottrell, Mark Nance

Title: “Soft Law,” “Hard Law,” and European Integration: Toward a Theory of Hybridity

Abstract: This paper develops a conceptual framework for the analysis of hard and soft law that is drawn in part from recent work in the field of international relations. We examine the literature on the role of soft law, noting that scholars have approached this phenomenon in very different ways. We seek to unite insights from constructivist and rationalist theories of integration and apply them to the understanding of the role law and other normative orders and governance processes may play in European integration. We deploy this synthesis to analyze the two case studies, employment policy and fiscal policy coordination, exploring the roles that law plays and paying special attention to the operation of hybrid constellations where hard and soft operate in the same policy domain.

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Last updated on September 9th, 2004

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