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European law is usually taken to embody an unstoppable dynamic of integration and progress. Such assumptions, claim the authors, are rooted firmly in modernist assumptions which avoid the impact of current critical, poststructural and postmodern thought. An encompassing ""idea of Europe"" inhabits EU law and its claims to a supreme, unified and transcendent legal order under the various treaties. It motivates judicial activism by the Court of Justice. One of the primary focuses of this text is on identity and alterity in relation to the constituting of ""Europe"" and its law. The concern is with the ""other"" that ""Europe"" rejects or disowns, yet against which it also assumes its identity.;The volume is divided into three parts. The first four chapters examine the claims of EU law to transcend nation and its connected claims to a coherent and autonomous European identity. At the heart of these claims is the question of the EU's ""postmodernism"". The second part of the book shifts the focus to the negative construction of European identity in EU law through acts of institutional policy aimed at excluding the defining ""other"". The last part of the book moves beyond the borders of EU law to exlore the similarly self-constituting claims made for national laws and for human rights in terms of their Europeanness.