We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.


View Profile

Publication details for Professor Joe Painter

Bialasiewicz, L., Elden, S. & Painter, J. (2005). The Constitution of EU territory. Comparative European Politics 3(3): 333-363.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper offers a contribution to debates around the reconfiguration of political space in the project of European integration. Its specific focus is the Draft Constitution of the European Union, and its problematic understanding of territory. It claims that there is a profound ambiguity between senses of territory in the Draft Constitution, which in part aims to transcend existing territorial divisions and notions of territory, particularly those associated with the nation-state. This is an aspirational sense of Europe as a putative space of values and area of solidarity, illustrated through the ideal of territorial cohesion. On the other hand, territory is being re-inscribed in the Constitution in a 'hard' sense, organized through border controls, jurisdictional limits and a concern with territorial integrity and sovereign rights. In providing a reading of the draft Constitution itself, analysing the tensions and silences within its text, the article seeks to contribute to wider debates concerning the European project and its values, and the contribution social theory and political geography can make to an assessment of them.