Integration as Promise: Temporal Nondomination in EU Constitutional Law

What might a temporal dimension of freedom as nondomination mean in the context of the EU and the law of treaties? Combining Arendt’s idea of new beginnings with external nondomination (that the body politic be undominated), temporal nondomination provides that bodies politic should commit to political ‘natality’ and action. That is, rather than eliminating their contingency through (sovereign) domination, bodies politic should instead structure it through mutual promise. It is argued that a constitutional treaty like the EU’s is a paradigm of this idea, and that the logic of nondomination extends to unions of states. At the same time, temporal nondomination elucidates the limits of such promises insofar treaties cannot ‘cover the whole ground of the future’, echoing known arguments against the purposiveness of EU law. The idea of new beginnings thus takes wide aim at rigid statism (including some strands of republicanism), thick cosmopolitanism, and purposive constitutionalism.