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Palgrave Macmillan

Taking the EU to Court

Annulment Proceedings and Multilevel Judicial Conflict

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  • Open Access
  • © 2020

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  • Provides a comprehensive and systematic analysis of EU annulment actions to date
  • Contributes to the study of the role of judicial conflicts in the EU and, more broadly, to the role of law and its contestation in the evolution of the EU
  • Combines qualitative and quantitative insights to explore EU annulments from a political perspective

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics (PSEUP)

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About this book

This open access book provides an exhaustive picture of the role that annulment conflicts play in the EU multilevel system. Based on a rich dataset of annulment actions since the 1960s and a number of in-depth case studies, it explores the political dimension of annulment litigation, which has become an increasingly relevant judicial tool in the struggle over policy content and decision-making competences. The book covers the motivations of actors to turn policy conflicts into annulment actions, the emergence of multilevel actors’ litigant configurations, the impact of actors’ constellations on success in court, as well as the impact of annulment actions on the multilevel policy conflicts they originate from.

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


“This hugely original and thought-provoking book provides much needed empirical and theoretical insight into an under-studied area of EU law and policy. By analysing the legal strategies used by diverse litigants to advance their policy goals before the European Courts, it fills an important gap in our current understanding of EU integration. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the interface between political science and EU law.” (Mark Dawson, Hertie School of Governance Berlin, Germany)

“This is an excellent book. The authors’ analysis is based on an impressive foundation of both quantitative and qualitative data. The approach taken to analyze how litigation matters for the development of Europe’s multilevel policy is novel and persuasive. The book undoubtedly makes a major contribution to the study of the role of judicial conflicts in the EU and, more broadly, the role of law and its contestation in the EU's evolution.” (Klaus H. Goetz, author of Managing Moneyand Discord in the UN (with R. Patz, 2019))

“This is an excellent book on the link between politics and law. In the growing political science literature on the Court of Justice of the European Union, the authors have managed a real tour de force in showing to what extent initiating action for annulment is, in fact, a political decision of stakeholders. Empirically rich and theoretically subtle, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding legal conflict management in a multi-level system such as the European Union.” (Sabine Saurugger, Sciences Po Grenoble, Laboratoire Pacte, France)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany

    Christian Adam

  • Jean-Monnet Chair for Comparative Public Administration and Policy-Analysis, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, Speyer, Germany

    Michael W. Bauer

  • Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    Miriam Hartlapp

  • Institute for Political Studies, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

    Emmanuelle Mathieu

About the authors

Christian Adam is Assistant Professor at the Geschwister Scholl Institute for Political Science, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, Germany.

Michael W. Bauer holds the Jean Monnet Chair for Comparative Public Administration and Policy Analysis at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer. He is also a part-time professor at the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Miriam Hartlapp is Professor of Comparative Politics: Germany and France at the Freie University Berlin, Germany. She previously held chairs at Leipzig (2014–17) and Bremen University (2013–14) and worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.

Emmanuelle Mathieu is Lecturer at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Previously, she was a Marie Curie research fellow at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies, Spain.

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