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European Renaissance of Republicanism


Armin von Bogdandy

About the Project:

Article 16 of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen posits society as a key concept of republicanism. Thus, it was a lucky coincidence that the Arbeitskreis Grundlagen des öffentlichen Rechts of the Vereinigung der deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer asked Armin von Bogdandy to present on Renaissance des Republikanismus at its Bochum meeting in October 2023. That opportunity allowed the enrichment of the Strukturwandel’s approach with a further body of thought, namely that of republicanism.

While globally republicanism is experiencing a crisis, one can see a resurgence, or renaissance, within European society, considering how the constitutional law of the European Union is developing. The study unfolds a topical concept of republicanism, provides evidence for its resurgence, drawing from a range of proposals, debates, legal acts, and judgments, defends its compatibility with core republican concerns (self-determination, virtue, and a public forum) and outlines prospects for future scholarly work and legal interpretation. Thus, the text presents European republicanism as a coherent and principled approach for the EU reform that the European Council initiated on 14th and 15th December 2023.

Beyond Bochum, the study was presented at the Brasilian Supreme Court under its republican chief justice Roberto Barroso, as well as in Berlin, Brescia, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, Tel Aviv and a seminar (in early 2024) at the Institute with members of the Commission’s Legal Service on their book on “70 Years of EU Law. A Union for its Citizens”, thereby feeding it into the EU-institutions.

The study will be published in the dedicated series of the Arbeitskreis with Mohr Siebeck. An English translation is under consideration.