1 The Idea of European Public Law Today
Armin von Bogdandy
Edited By: Sabino Cassese, Armin von Bogdandy, Peter Huber
This chapter argues that for an analysis of European law, a comparative public law approach is necessary. It contends that European law calls for a broader reach when compared with the traditional private-law orientation of international law. European law began with a strong orientation towards public law, and this encompassed comparative public law. Moreover, the chapter shows how this approach can address the structural transformations of public law and authority in Europe. The crises of the last few years — the financial crisis, the debt crisis, the refugee crisis, systemic deficiencies, and the fading confidence in democratic self-government — also contribute to the impression of ‘messiness’ in European public law. Hence, while the comparison approach might seem less useful, the chapter emphasizes that it is still worthy of academic study.