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While scholarly writing has dealt with the role of law in the process of European integration, so far it has shed little light on the lawyers and communities of lawyers involved in that process.
Law has been one of the most thoroughly investigated aspects of the European integration process, and EU law has become a well-established academic discipline, with the emergence more recently of an impressive body of legal and political science literature on 'European law in context'.
Yet this field has been dominated by an essentially judicial narrative, focused on the role of the European courts, underestimating in the process the multifaceted roles lawyers and law play in the EU polity, notably the roles they play beyond the litigation arena. This volume seeks to promote a deeper understanding of European law as a social and political phenomenon, presenting a more complete view of the European legal field by looking beyond the courts, and at the same time broadening the scholarly horizon by exploring the ways in which European law is actually made.
To do this it describes the roles of the great variety of actors who stand behind legal norms and decisions, bringing together perspectives from various disciplines (law, political science, political sociology, and history), to offer a global multi-disciplinary reassessment of the role of 'law' and 'lawyers' in the European integration process.