Normativism and realism within contemporary democratic constitutionalism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (6):1-21 (2018)

Valerio Fabbrizi
Università degli Studi "Tor Vergata" (Roma)
The renewed interest on political realism can offer a new reading of the traditional dichotomy between normative and realist conception of constitutionalism. The purpose of this article is to analyse this renewed discussion, especially by focusing on the relationship between “political realism” and “political constitutionalism,” in the light of some theorists and authors—such as Richard Bellamy and Jeremy Waldron. After a brief introduction in which political realism will be discussed, especially through Bernard Williams’ reinterpretation, the article proposes a rereading of democratic constitutionalism from the classical dichotomy between normativism and realism in political theory. The focus will be set on three key issues: 1. Richard Bellamy’s constitutional theory in a realist perspective; 2. An insight of legal constitutionalism under a normative banner; 3. A brief conclusion in which the risks of a majoritarian and populist constitutionalism will be discussed.
Keywords political philosophy  constitutionalism  critical theory
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1177/0191453718768346
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A Constitutional Horizon?Frank I. Michelman - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (7):640-648.

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