Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

New Governance and the European Union

An Empirical and Conceptual Critique

22Apr2014 12:15 - 13:30


Which contribution can new governance scholarship make to our understanding of EU governance? Prof. Kenneth Armstrong, Cambridge University, explores a wide range of developments in EU governance across a variety of policy domains. The lecture is open to the public.

The European Union is a striking illustration of a phenomenon evident nationally, internationally and transnationally, namely pluralisation and differentiation in the techniques, tools and methods deployed by public and private actors in the search for more legitimate and/or more effective means of securing economic and social governance. As such, the European landscape has proved fertile terrain for the elaboration of a ‘new governance’ approach to European integration that is keen to illuminate the limits of a ‘traditional’ approach to European law-making and law-enforcement typically associated with the ‘Community Method’ and to uncover alternative experiments in European governance. In exploring a wide range of developments in EU governance across a variety of policy domains and over many years, this essay pinpoints the contribution which new governance scholarship can make to our understanding of EU governance, while acknowledging the need for analytical refinement and conceptual clarification. In so doing, the analysis engages with three key themes: a critical approach to law and governance; a pluralist and sociological account of law; and legal scholarship as a contribution to pragmatic and progressive politics.

Organized by ACELG in cooperation with ACCESS Europe 

The speaker

Kenneth Armstrong is Professor of European Law at the University of Cambridge. Before, he was Professor of EU law at Queen Mary, University of London. He has written extensively in the field of European Union law and policy, with a particular focus on the evolving governance and institutional structures of the EU. His book Governing Social Inclusion: Europeanization through Policy Coordination was published by Oxford University Press in 2010 and won the 2011 UACES Best Book Prize. He is currently researching the European Union’s response to the economic crisis. He is a member of the editorial board of the European Law Journal. Kenneth Armstrong is currently Inaugural Visiting Professor at ACCESS Europe.


Attendance is free of charge. For organizational reasons, please sign up for the meeting by sending an email to Angela Moisl at

Faculty of Law, A 1.01

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Published by  ACELG