European Legal Networks in Crisis
In 2010, the sovereign debt crisis erupted in the European Union (EU) and continues to raise critical questions about the macro-economic governance structure of the EU. The Eurozone crisis impacted not only financial stability, but also confidence in the EU system. Reform of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) institutional structure as well as member states fiscal positions have been contentious issues. The crisis in the area of economic and financial governance revealed a more fundamental problem: the sustainability in the long-term of the Euro and the EMU broadly speaking. These characteristics of both the EMU and the Eurozone crisis policy response have subsequently triggered a number of legal cases at European constitutional courts, both national and supranational. What is interesting about these cases is not simply that their initiators were concerned about the legal developments of the Eurozone crisis policy response, but also the social, political and economic context in which the cases are embedded.
I therefore argue that in order to understand the deeper legal, social, political and economic issues of the crisis and the EMU broadly speaking, one has to focus on the legal cases brought before European constitutional courts, as the process of litigating and adjudicating reveals the political and economic issues that legal experts and judges are concerned with in the ongoing European Union project. I specifically look at cases brought before the German Constitutional Court, the Portugeuse Constitutional Court, and finally the Court of Justice of the European Union. By looking at these cases, the jurisdictional tensions between the national courts (and their constitutions) on the one hand, and the Court of Justice and the ‘constitution’ of the EMU on the other are better understood; namely, which court in practice has the final say, on what issues, and why this matters for EU polity building. In sum, all these cases open up the black-box of the politics of jurisdiction, and thereby contestation over who has jurisdiction and over what do they have jurisdiction? The moment jurisdiction is exercised, the legal issue being adjudicated will be framed in terms of that court’s particular political, economic and social context (Dorsett & McVeigh 2012; Valverde 2009; Valverde 2015). What we see in the Eurozone crisis is that over time, the jurisdictions of these courts to rule on the substance of the cases become more contested as the issues are more politicized; that is, they are not just technical matters of financial assistance and budgetary constraints, but affect questions of parliamentary oversight as well as redistributive policies.
I hypothesize that it is the political, academic and professional alliances of the courts which inform how questions of jurisdiction are dealt with; in other words, each court will become aligned with a constellation of various actors from different linked ecologies (Abbott 2005) in exercising and maintaining their jurisdiction. The key concern is then how these alliances become manifest, develop and then perhaps dissolve. In order to answer this question of jurisdiction, I frame the hypotheses in terms of the legal outcomes of the cases and the political context that each court is embedded in. By doing this, it is easier to deal with how their jurisdiction can become contested and how the courts can in turn maintain their jurisdiction. Finally, I pose the question of whether judges/Courts constitute a particular type of ecology.
- The German Constitutional Court.
- The Portuguese Constitutional Court.
- The Court of Justice of the European Union.
In ensuring the certainty of the rule of law for citizens in the European Union, as well as ensuring the stability of the macro-economy, the politics of jurisdiction in the macro-economic governance needs to be better understood. Otherwise tensions caused by jurisdictional uncertainty, especially when different political actors with diverging interests capitalise on this uncertainty, can lead to further fragmentation of the European Union as well as self-reinforcing political echo chambers, which ends with ineffective governance and instability.
Nov 2016 – Sep 2017 Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Oct 2017 – Aug 2018 Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Sep 2018 – Feb 2019 McKinsey & Company, Brussels, Belgium
Mar 2019 – Oct 2019 Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Degrees & Titles
M.Sc. International Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, 2016
B.Sc. Business Administration and Sociology, Copenhagen Business School, 2014
Editor, The Universal Human Rights Journal for students, Feb 2015 – Present
Research Assistant, Copenhagen Business School, June – Oct 2016
Student Research Assistant, Copenhagen Business School, July 2015 – May 2016
Proofreader of PhDs and scientific articles, for Copenhagen Business School, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, Aarhus University, Nov 2012 – Feb 2016
Guest Lecturer, University of Copenhagen, March 2014 – June 2015
Student Instructor in International Political Economy, Copenhagen Business School, Sep 2014 – Dec 2014
Student Research Assistant, Copenhagen Business School, Feb 2014 – Sep 2014
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1985 to a South African mother and a Danish father. Growing up in Johannesburg was fascinating, difficult and beautiful, especially given South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela. My childhood was comfortable, but punctuated with experiences that gave me a view into the socio-economic challenges and political tensions that a nascent democracy must confront as well as the subsequent integration of many different societal groups. This process has been successful in some ways, for example, an expanding middle- and upper-class as well as the emergence of an eclectic and wonderfully vibrant culture; but it has been challenging in other dimensions, most distressingly, the many citizens that still live in dire poverty. The context of my childhood was thus rife with politically stimulating conversations as well as a persistant exploration of what exactly it meant to be South African. Such an experience has stayed with me in the form of an ever curious and analytical stance to the society in which I live. I moved to Copenhagen when I was 21 to explore my Danish roots and learn the Danish language. This experience was fundamental to my integration into Danish society, which I see as a hard-won success, as it has entailed a lot of patience as well as energy to consistently engage in Danish culture and politics - that is, develop a substantive Danish identity - while still retaining my own sense of South African identity, which is very important to me. In Denmark I pursued my tertiary education at Copenhagen Business School, first earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Sociology, and then a Master’s degree in International Business & Politics. During my Master’s degree, I did an exchange period in Italy, where I studied Constitutional Law, with which I’ve become fascinated. Finally, the strong focus on multi-disciplinarity and pluralistic research approaches during my undergrad and graduate degree has inspired me to pursue this PhD. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the exciting GEM-STONES programme.
Haagensen, N. & Henriksen, L. F. (Forthcoming) Social Network Analysis in Morin, Jean-Frédéric, Christian Olsson and Ece Özlem Atikcan (eds). Key Concepts in Research Methods. Oxford: Routledge.
Haagensen, N., Lisa Haagensen and Alexander Andersson. 2016. “Categorization and Context: Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach to Human Rights”. The Universal: Annual Human Rights Review, Vol. 1.
Accepted for panel at International Studies Assocation conference in April 2018 in San Francisco.
Accepted for panel at Dansk Sociologi Kongress in January 2018.