Democratic constitution-making and unfreezing the Turkish process

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (3-4):473-487 (2010)
This short article will seek to explore the causes, and possible solutions, of what seems to be the current freezing of the Turkish constitution-making process that has had some dramatic successes in the 1990s and early 2000s. I make the strong claim that democratic legitimacy or constituent authority should not be reduced either to any mode of power, even popular power, or to mere legality. It is these types of reduction that I find especially troubling in recent Turkish constitutional struggles, where the legal claims of two powers — the government-controlled legislative and the judicial branches — to structure the constitution are not backed by sufficient political legitimacy. In effect these two powers that claim their constituent authorization, rather implausibly in my view, from either the democratic electorate or from an original constituent power, because of their conflict threaten to freeze the constitution-making process that very much needs to be continued and concluded. I end the article by making a suggestion for one possible constitution-making procedure that would be both legitimate and legal.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453709358543
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