The Legalist Mind — a View from the Semi-Periphery on the European Union
How the European Union is imagined by lawyers of the semi-peripheries? This research explores the ways in which Polish legal scholars contributed to the conceptual discussions of the European Union. Responding to the current surge in the academic literature that critically assesses the legacy of EU legal theoreticians, this study attempts to provide a critical investigation into the Polish imaginary of the EU. It focuses on the discourse analysis of the academic publications, commentaries, and public interventions made by the main Polish legal scholars in the area of EU law and announced from the early 2000s up until the ongoing prolonged rule of law crisis. It tentatively argues that these debates were overly legalistic — partly because of the Copenhagen criteria to be met before Poland joined the EU, partly because of the checklist approach towards the rule of law crisis. Moreover, this research will trace back the intellectual inspirations of the main Polish scholars. This broad view on the legal publications from the EU semi-periphery will offer missing insights into understanding EU integration. It will examine the intellectual pluralism of the EU legal thought by positioning the Polish imaginary of the EU vis-á-vis the literature on EU integration.