Ugo Mattei and Fernanda Nicola (American Univ. Law School) have published an article titled "A 'Social Dimension' in European Private Law?" (portions originally delivered as a lecture at the New England School of Law). Here is the abstract:
This Article aims to show what the political, rather than the technical stakes, are in the current debate over the harmonization of private law in Europe. Part One analyzes the main actors, the legal sources, the ideological divide, and the process animating the current debate on European private law. It sheds light on the incremental transformation of European private law in a scholarly industry. Part Two sheds light on the main obstacles and inconsistencies that jurists encounter in envisioning a Social private law. This section argues that the notion of the "Social" in private law scholarship as well as the idea of "Social Europe" is rarely a useful notion to articulate a progressive agenda for European private law. We argue that a progressive agenda for European private law can be conceived today as a significant platform only by breaking with the current hegemonies and ideologies, as well as by unveiling the transformation of European private law into a scholarly industry.
The cite is 41 New England L. Rev. 1 (2006) (but just off the press).