Thoughts from a Bridge

A Retrospective of Writings on New Europe and American Federalism
Eric Stein
Explores a variety of issues surrounding integration in Europe


European integration proceeds apace, most recently with the introduction of the Euro in most of the countries of the European Community. Yet many of the same problems have troubled this group since its inception, problems foreshadowed in many ways by the American debates over the nature of our own federation. Eric Stein began the scholarly study of the developing law of the European Community almost at the time of its birth. His thoughts on various problems with integration in Europe demonstrate remarkable prescience and remain important contributions to the ongoing debates and discussions. Viewing European integration both from the perspective of the American experience with federalism and the personal experience of a Europe torn apart by war, Stein offers a unique understanding of the forces propelling and restraining European union. The essays collected in this volume deal with the development of a harmonized set of laws, the comparative study of law, the development of a common European foreign policy, the role of courts in the European Community, and the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak federation, among other topics.

These essays are essential reading for all scholars interested in studying the European Community, the development of law, and advantages and pitfalls of the development of federal systems.

Eric Stein is Hessel E. Yntema Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan Law School and is the author of Czecho/Slovakia: Ethnic Conflict, Constitutional Fissure, Negotiated Breakup.

Praise / Awards

  • "Unfolding in this volume is the intellectual life of a master Europeanist, internationalist, and comparativist. Each essay is a picture in a carefully selected human and scholarly retrospective and should be read as such. Each is worthy of study not only in terms of the information and insight it contains, but also in its lessons about approach, perspective, and style."
    —Joseph H. H. Weiler, Harvard Law School
  • "Rarely has a rich academic career spanning more than half a century been captured with such coherence and cohesiveness as Eric Stein's in his own Thoughts from a Bridge: A Retrospective of Writings on New Europe and American Federalism. . . . In some ways the greatest achievement of the book lies not in Stein's exploration of any one particular idea or set of ideas, but rather in his capacity to make those ideas so remarkably accessible to the reader. The thoughts may be complex, but the expression is always lucid. The reader is given not only context, but focus. The reader senses authorial conviction, but never dogmatism. And the reader is treated to real scholarship, but with no jargon. The collection exudes authenticity. In these and so many other ways, Thoughts from a Bridge reflects not only the lucidity of the scholar, but also the accessibility of the man."
    —George A. Bermann, Columbia University, American Journal of International Law, October 2000
  • Winner: University of Michigan's 2001 University of Michigan Press Book Award

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 520pp.
  • 1figure.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11059-9

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  • $99.95 U.S.