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European StoriesIntellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts$
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Justine Lacroix and Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594627.001.0001

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Consensus, Benign Neglect, and Specialized Knowledge

Consensus, Benign Neglect, and Specialized Knowledge

Spanish Intellectuals and Europe*

(p.203) 10 Consensus, Benign Neglect, and Specialized Knowledge
European Stories

Carlos Closa

Antonio Barroso

Oxford University Press

Carlos Closa and Antonio Barroso show that Spanish intellectuals have long shown a “benign neglect” towards the EU and European integration. As a result of the link established between democratization and Europe in the post‐Franco period, the latter occupied an almost totally uncontroversial position. This provoked a vacuum which specialised intellectuals tried to fill. More precisely, public lawyers have assumed a central role in discussion on the EU and this has had the effect of turning it into a kind of arcane domain for specialists. Through a number of case‐studies, Closa and Barroso argue that it is the notion of constitutional tolerance as articulated by Joseph Weiler (2001) that best fits with Spanish intellectual debates on Europe. The insertion of Spain into the European constitutional architecture is broadly conceived as a way of perfecting national democracy.

Keywords:   constitutional tolerance, public lawyers, democratization, specialization, Franco

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