Keywords: Constitutional Conflicts; Mouffe; Conflictual Consensus; Constitutional Courts; Court of Justice of the European Union.
This essay attempts to develop an alternative theoretical proposal on the role of conflicts in European constitutional law. The starting point is represented by the ambiguous role of conflicts in the account proposed by constitutional pluralists. This does not come as a surprise since the issue of conflicts was also one of the reasons for the shift from «radical pluralism» to «pluralism under international law» in N. MacCormick as well. Starting from these considerations, in this essay I shall try to explore the role of conflicts in light of what C. Mouffe called «conflictual consensus». Although Mouffe's theory refers to social conflicts, I think it has great potential to read the kinds of conflicts especially characterising (but not only) the post-Lisbon scenario. For the purpose of this essay, these conflicts will be called «conflicts by convergence» and can be seen as one of the unexpected consequences of the constitutionalisation of the European Union.