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Two nomoi and a clash of narratives: The story of the United Kingdom and the European union

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Mullender



Robert Cover's argument in Nomos and Narrative applies to a system of municipal law (that of the U.S.A.). This article seeks to demonstrate that Cover's claims concerning nomoi and narratives have relevance to relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union (a non-municipal context, in which the concept of supranationalism figures prominently). While making this move from a municipal to a non-municipal setting, central strands in Cover's argument are explained or developed by reference to the literary theory of Mikhail Bakhtin, communitarian political philosophy, and the writings of Isaiah Berlin and Joseph Raz on value incommensurability. Along with Cover, these writers are used to analyse a clash between a narrative of redemption (associated with the pursuit of European integration) and British narratives of insularity (which run on, among other things, the themes of independence and sovereignty). This essay concludes by identifying these two types of narratives as standing in a relationship of ineliminable tension. Copyright © 2006 The Berkeley Electronic Press. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mullender R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Symposium: Robert M. Cover: Nomos and Narrative

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: 1-63

Date deposited: 23/08/2010

ISSN: 1539-8323

Publisher: Issues in Legal Scholarship, Berkeley Electronic Press


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