Social legitimacy is conventionally conceived to encompass an empirical notion based on the idea that, lacking societal acceptance, a (political or legal) regime will eventually disintegrate. This concern is reflected in the original compromise of 'embedded liberalism', which stands at the basis of the internal market of the European Union. The primary law set up of the internal market, indeed, shares the idea that the benefits of a joint commitment to free trade can only be achieved in a sustainable way if combined with an acknowledgement of domestic societal objectives within the same... frameworks. Nevertheless, social legitimacy will eventually depend on the institutional design and structural rationales that embed societal values within such regimes and vice versa. This perspective is further developed, normatively, on the basis of the work of Karl Polanyi and adopted to critically assess the structural rationales that are developed within internal market adjudication, which the thesis approaches as a separate field of social ordering within the European Union. Thus, social legitimacy is developed as a requirement that perceives the legitimacy of internal market law on the basis of the extent to which it can respond and integrate social practice and values. On this point the thesis finds that the internal market lacks a sufficiently developed rationale or "common language" that is able to address the normative concerns of social legitimacy. Societal realities are often valued within a metric that risks doing violence to potentially genuine and worthwhile aspects of Member States' 'social spheres'. The thesis develops that the normative claims of social legitimacy are best addressed on the basis of a rationale of mutual responsiveness, which is considered a necessary but underdeveloped element of the constitutional form and social purpose of the internal market that is implicit in the constitutional theory of transnational effects. From a perspective of mutual responsiveness, the social purpose of the internal market is not to condition choices that necessarily require the market to trump the social sphere - or the opposite- to allow the social to necessarily trump the market. Mutual responsiveness advances a more holistic approach that conceives the market and the social, literally, as 'communicating vessels'. The normative concerns of social legitimacy and the potential of mutual responsiveness to address these normative claims are the central and connecting elements throughout the thesis.