Su, Hungdah. (2001) "Back to historical comparative analysis: A 'European dream-search approach'". In: UNSPECIFIED, Madison, Wisconsin. (Unpublished)
The Single European Act, as well as the creation of the European Union, has rekindled debate on approaches to EU/EC studies since the early 1980s. Based on a general review of this debate, I rethink the value of these American-advocated and theory building-oriented approaches. These approaches have without a doubt enriched the subject and the methods of EU/EC studies, but they have also brought about some unexpected consequences that might prevent scholars from deepening their knowledge of European integration. In order to compensate for this insufficiency, the author tries first to prove it inappropriate to treat the EU/EC as a continental-sized nation building project or a specific international cooperation movement. On the assumption that European integration is unprecedented, and the EU/EC is sui generus, the author proposes a historical comparative analysis approach based upon comparison among different events in European integration history. Following the comparison, a review of the development of integration ideas over the past five hundred years will permit the author to present the concept of "constitutional sovereignty building" as a starting point for EU/EC studies. Based on this new concept, several hypotheses will be deduced, which are later put to test. Finally, some tentative but very interesting, conclusions will be established that could help improve understanding of the European integration movement and advance EU/EC studies.
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