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European Society. A New Approach to Europe, its Past and Future Challenges

Head of Section:

Loïc Azoulai

Armin von Bogdandy

About the Project:

Loïc Azoulai and Armin von Bogdandy are setting up a group to explore the potential of the concept of European society to understand, critique, and change the European situation and Europeans' condition. We see it as a momentous decision that European policy makers stated in the Lisbon Treaty the existence of European society (Article 2), indicating what the ever closer union (Article 1) is about. Society is one of the great concepts of European thought and yet strangely sidelined in most European discussions. The project aims to change this by exploring possible meanings of the concept. This includes a new approach to Europe as we see European society enmeshed into ever greater webs of interdependence, whether they are political, economic, social, cultural, technological or legal in nature, but also fraught with ever deeper conflicts that divide and polarize it from each other and from within.

The group shall include members versed in law, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, the history of ideas, post-colonial studies, economics, political science, political theory, social history, and socio-legal studies. We are aiming at a group that joins scholars at different stages in their career with different backgrounds, but united in by the wish to make a deep and original contribution to what should become a milestone in many discussions. Advanced doctoral students and post-docs are welcome.

The group will meet in 2024 on the following dates (EUI and MPIL):

  • 24 to 26 January
  • 25 to 28 June
  • 26 to 29 November

The eventual contributions will form an open-access publication with a publisher of high visibility. Those interested should send an abstract of an envisaged contribution (1 page) and a short c.v. to by October 31, 2023. Costs for travel and stay will be supported; professional language editing will be provided.

About the Organizers

Loïc Azoulai is a Professor of European Law at Sciences Po Law School. He will held the Chair in Law and Social Europe at the European University Institute from January 2024 on. His work is entirely devoted to the study of the laws of Europe.

Armin von Bogdandy is director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and Professor for Public Law at the University in Frankfurt/Main. His work is dedicated to the structural change of public law.



    For our take on the topic:

    Loïc Azoulai, The Law of European Society, Common Market Law Review, 2022, 203–214

    Download (PDF, 95.7 KB)

    Armin von Bogdandy, The Emergence and Democratization of European Society: On the Transformation of Public Law in Europe, 2023

    Download (PDF, 201.7 KB)