Judicial review by constitutional courts is often presented as a necessary supplement to democracy. This book questions its effectiveness and legitimacy. Drawing on the republican tradition, Richard Bellamy argues that the democratic mechanisms of open elections between competing parties and decision-making by majority rule offer superior and sufficient methods for upholding rights and the rule of law. The absence of popular accountability renders judicial review a form of arbitrary rule which lacks the incentive structure democracy provides to ensure rulers treat (...) the ruled with equal concern and respect. Rights based judicial review undermines the constitutionality of democracy. Its counter-majoritarian bias promotes privileged against unprivileged minorities, while its legalism and focus on individual cases distort public debate. Rather than constraining democracy with written constitutions and greater judicial oversight, attention should be paid to improving democratic processes through such measures as reformed electoral systems and enhanced parliamentary scrutiny. (shrink)
Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity James Tully. these ambassadors from Haida Gwaii conciliate the goods which appear irreconcilable to us? To discover the answer, and learn our way around on this strange common ground, we need to ...
The central argument of this book is that liberalism, constitutionalism, and democracy, as well as, specifically, liberal constitutional democracy all work, when they do, because they serve the mutual advantage of the politically effective groups in the society through coordination of those groups on a political and, perhaps, economic order. These arguments are applied both to the early history of constitutional developments in the United States and to contemporary transitions from autocratic regimes to market democracies. A subsidiary claim is (...) that constitutional political institutions and democratic procedures generally require not so much active support as merely acquiescence in order to survive and work. These are explanatory theses, not normative claims, but they have relevance for normative claims if one takes seriously some relative of Kant's dictum that ought implies can. If we are to insist that some form of government is normatively right for a particular society, we must be able to say that it would or could work for that society. It is commonly argued that what makes democracy right is that it works by consent. If so, it is such a distressingly minimal form of consent—acquiescence—as to be normatively disqualified. If we rule out mere acquiescence as adequate for consent, it seems likely that no credible argument can be adduced to defend liberal constitutional democracy in any detail on grounds of consent or contractarianism. Hence, concern for workability, which should be central to any moral assessment of principles of social order, undercuts the entire consent school of political theory. (shrink)
Constitutionalism: Past, Present, and Future will offer a definitive collection of Professor Dieter Grimm's most important scholarly writings on constitutional thought and interpretation. The essays included in this volume explore the conditions under which the modern constitution could emerge; they treat the characteristics that must be given if the constitution may be called an achievement, the appropriate way to understand and interpret constitutional law under current conditions, the function of judicial review, the remaining role of national constitutions in a (...) changing world, as well as the possibility of supra-national constitutionalism.Many of these essays have influenced the German and European discussion on constitutionalism and for the first time, much of the work of one of German's leading scholars of public law will be available in the English language. (shrink)
The eleven essays in this volume, supplemented by an editorial introduction, centre around three overlapping problems. First, why would a society want to limit its own sovereign power by imposing constitutional constraints on democratic decision-making? Second, what are the contributions of democracy and constitutions to efficient government? Third, what are the relations among democracy, constitutionalism, and private property? This comprehensive discussion of the problems inherent in constitutional democracy will be of interest to students in a variety of social sciences. (...) It illuminates particularly the current efforts of many countries, especially in Latin America, to establish stable democratic regimes. (shrink)
Globalization is a topic of some anxiety among international lawyers. On the one hand, its fluid dynamics — fragmentation, deformalization and empire — undermine traditional diplomatic rules and institutions. On the other hand, the effort to reimagine international law in purely managerial terms appears intellectually shallow and politically objectionable. To avoid marginalization and instrumentalization, many lawyers have begun to think about international problems through a constitutional vocabulary and have often cited Kant in that connection. This Article argues that, while it (...) is always possible to grasp the world through a constitutional vocabulary, this does not provide determinate answers to international problems. Instead of an institutional architecture or a set of legal rules, constitutionalism is best seen as a mindset — a tradition and a sensibility about how to act in a political world. Contrary to a widespread assumption, Kant’s political writings may also be read in this fashion and, if so, a meaningful international transformation might necessitate not only legislative or institutional intervention but a professional and perhaps spiritual regeneration. (shrink)
This is the second volume in a sub-series of specially commissioned collaborative volumes on key topics at the heart of contemporary philosophy of law that will be appearing regularly within Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law. A distinguished international team of legal theorists examine the issue of constitutionalism and pose such foundational questions as: why have a constitution? How do we know what the constitution of a country really is? How should a constitution be interpreted? Why should one generation (...) feel bound by the constitution of an earlier one? The volume will be of particular importance to those in philosophy, law, political science and international relations interested in what kinds of constitutions should be adopted in countries without them, and involved in debates about constitutional interpretation. (shrink)
The contributions in this volume cover five main themes centring on constitutionalism and democracy: substantive views, procedural views, reconciling substance procedures, populist constitutionalism, and constitutional democracy beyond the nation state.
This essay introduces a collection of articles gathered under the theme of “law, science, and constitutions of life.” Together, they explore how revolutions in notions of what biological life is are eliciting correspondingly revolutionary imaginations of how life should be governed. The central theoretical contribution of the collection is to further elaborate the concept of bioconstitutionalism, which draws attention to especially consequential forms of coproduction at the law–life nexus. This introduction offers a theoretical discussion of bioconstitutionalism. It explores the constitutional (...) significance of interplay between scientific and technological power over life and a given political community’s shared imaginary of what modes of reasoning, judgment, and rule are proper and legitimate in a well-ordered state. It argues that knowing what life is for purposes of governance does not follow from scientific knowledge alone. Rather, such knowledge is refracted through culturally distinctive imaginaries that commit societies to particular understandings of what life means and what should be done to encourage its flourishing. (shrink)
Much has been written about the global convergence on constitutional supremacy. Yet, a closer look suggests that while constitutional convergence trends are undoubtedly extensive and readily visible, expressions of constitutional resistance or defiance may in fact be regaining ground worldwide. This may point to a paradox embedded in global constitutionalism: the more expansive constitutional convergence trends are, the greater the likelihood of dissent and resistance are. In this article, I chart the contours of three aversive responses to constitutional convergence: (...) neo-secessionism, nullification, and deference to local authority, and draw on an array of comparative examples to illustrate the distinct logic and characteristics of each of these responses. Taken together, these increasingly common expressions of defiance provide ample evidence that global constitutionalism is not the only game in town. Neo-secessionism, nullification, and other forms of constitutional dissent and “opting out” may thus be viewed as a reaction against the centralization of authority and the decline of the local in an increasingly—constitutionally and otherwise—universalized reality. (shrink)
Drawing upon Hannah Arendt's and Carl Schmitt's theories on the relationship between nomos and boundary, this paper revisits how constitutionalism and political power are reconciled as constitutional ordering. It first analyzes constitutionalism in the light of political modernity. Indicating that political power grounded by constitutions is omnipotent, complementing and completing constitutionalism, the paper contends that an omnipotent constitutional ordering is anything but an unleashed Leviathan. It is argued that constitutional omnipotence is framed and thus constrained by a (...) constitutional nomos, the matrix of which is a dual delimitation of boundaries, generational, and jurisdictional. (shrink)
This essay explores the ways in which a broadly pluralist outlook can help illuminate longstanding issues of constitutional theory and practice. It begins with a common-sense understanding of pluralism as the diversity of observed practices within a general category. It turns out that many assumptions Americans and others often make about constitutional essentials are valid only locally but not generically. The essay then turns to pluralism in a more technical and philosophical sense—specifically, the account of value pluralism adumbrated by Isaiah (...) Berlin and developed by his followers. Section 3 sketches this version of pluralism, and section 4 brings it to bear on a range of familiar constitutional issues. In the process, a distinction emerges between, on the one hand, areas of variation among constitutions and, on the other, some general truths about political life that define core constitutional functions. The essay concludes with some brief reflections on the normative thrust of pluralist constitutional theory—in particular, a presumption in favor of the maximum accommodation of individual and group differences consistent with the maintenance of constitutional unity and civic order. (shrink)
Locke’s endorsement of prerogative, the power of the executive to exceed positive laws in emergencies, seems to contradict his political and theoretical aims in writing the Two Treatises of Government, particularly his vindication of the rule of law in a constitutional government. However, this article argues that prerogative and the rule of law are consistent in the ultimate ends that they serve, in spite of their significant differences as means. Prerogative is essential to the realization of the most fundamental duties (...) of government, including the preservation of society, because unforeseeable contingencies make it difficult and even counter-productive to rely exclusively on juridical means of fulfilling these duties. Prerogative compensates for the shortcomings of the law without abandoning the principles of legality altogether by allowing the executive to exercise extra-ordinary powers in accordance with the highest law of all: the good of the people as defined by the laws of nature. (shrink)
The law within each legal system is a function of the practices of some social group. In short, law is a kind of socially grounded norm. H.L.A Hart famously developed this view in his book, The Concept of Law, by arguing that law derives from a social rule, the so-called “rule of recognition.” But the proposition that social facts play a foundational role in producing law is a point of consensus for all modern jurisprudents in the Anglo-American tradition: not just (...) Hart and his followers in the positivist school, most prominently Joseph Raz and Jules Coleman, but also the anti-positivist Ronald Dworkin, who argues that law necessarily synthesizes moral considerations with social facts. But which group’s practices ground each legal system? In particular, which group’s practices undergird U.S. law? Positivists since Hart have universally pointed to either officials or judges as the “recognitional community” (my term): the group such that its rules, conventions, cooperative activities, or practices in some other sense are the social facts from which the law of a given legal system derives. So Hart and all other positivists would identify either U.S. officials or U.S. judges as the recognitional community for U.S. law. This Article grapples with the tension between the positivist’s official- or judge-centered account of the recognitional community and the “popular constitutionalism” now so widely defended by constitutional scholars such as Larry Kramer, Robert Post, Reva Siegel, Mark Tushnet, Jeremy Waldron, and many others. Surely the popular constitutionalist would want to claim that U.S. citizens, not judges or officials, are the recognitional community for U.S. law. I term this position “deep popular constitutionalism.” Indeed, it turns out that Dworkin’s account of law, in its ambition to generate associative moral obligations for the citizenry as a whole, implies deep popular constitutionalism. Here there is a disagreement, hitherto unnoticed, between Dworkin and the positivists. My solution to this disagreement – to the debate between deep popular constitutionalists and deep official or judicial supremacists -- is to dissolve it by providing a group-relative account of law. Social norms, such as norms of dress or eating, are clearly group-relative. A particular dressing or eating behavior may be socially appropriate relative to one group’s norms, yet socially inappropriate relative to another’s. This Article extends the group-relative view from social norms to law itself, with a particular focus on U.S. law and constitutionalism. Part I surveys the jurisprudential literature. It shows how Hart and successor positivists identify the rule of recognition as a social practice engaged in by officials or some subset of officials (judges), rather than citizens generally, and argues that Dworkin by contrast sees the citizenry as a whole as his recognitional community. Parts II and III defend a group-relative account of law. Part II argues, with reference to the U.S. experience, that multiple groups can simultaneously instantiate the kind of social fact that undergirds law, be it a convention, a social norm, a “shared cooperative activity” (SCA), or something else. At many points in U.S. constitutional history, multiple official or citizen groups, defined along departmental, partisan, regional, state-federal, religious, or other lines, have accepted competing rules of recognition for U.S. law. Part III argues that “law” functions, primarily, as either an explanatory or a normative construct, and that insisting on a single recognitional community for each legal system would be arbitrary, both for explanatory purposes and for normative purposes. Part IV considers the many implications of the group-relative account for U.S. constitutional theory – in particular, for popular constitutionalism. (shrink)
My aim is not to diminish the importance of conciliarism as a contribution to Western political thought so much as to place it within its own appropriate context. I do not deny that conciliar theory played an important role in the history of �constitutionalism�, but I insist that conciliarism was a form of constitutional thought and practice deeply rooted in the mental world of the Latin Middle Ages and not directly germane to our own modern political framework and dilemmas. (...) This caveat ultimately separates Figgis and his recent advocates most deeply from my own viewpoint. (shrink)
There are two dominant schools of thought addressing problems of cosmopolitanism and conflict: democratic national sovereigntism, inspired by Hegel, and global constitutionalism, inspired by Kant and reformulated by Habermas. This paper develops a third position by reading Adorno's critique of both theoretical traditions. Rather than compromising between these camps, Adorno triangulates between them. Critically illuminating their respective deficiencies in view of the changing conditions of a globalized modern world has critical implications for cosmopolitics. Although largely negative, Adorno's critique provides (...) an important framework for a contestatory reformulation of cosmopolitanism, one that is better equipped to confront societal and political global conflicts insufficiently reflected in sovereigntist and global constitutionalist models. (shrink)
Sovereignty and the sovereign state are often seen as anachronisms; Globalization and Sovereignty challenges this view. Jean L. Cohen analyzes the new sovereignty regime emergent since the 1990s evidenced by the discourses and practice of human rights, humanitarian intervention, transformative occupation, and the UN targeted sanctions regime that blacklists alleged terrorists. Presenting a systematic theory of sovereignty and its transformation in international law and politics, Cohen argues for the continued importance of sovereign equality. She offers a theory of a dualistic (...) world order comprised of an international society of states, and a global political community in which human rights and global governance institutions affect the law, policies, and political culture of sovereign states. She advocates the constitutionalization of these institutions, within the framework of constitutional pluralism. This book will appeal to students of international political theory and law, political scientists, sociologists, legal historians, and theorists of constitutionalism. (shrink)
This paper examines the legitimacy conditions of constitutionalism by examining one particular type of constitutional provision: provisions aimed at advancing future generations’ interests. After covering the main forms that such provisions can adopt; it first considers three legitimacy gains of constitutionalising them. It then explores two legitimacy concerns that so doing raises. Given that constitutions are difficult to amend; constitutionalisation may threaten future generations’ sovereignty. And it may also make the constitution’s content impossible to adapt to changing circumstances and (...) interests. Finally; the paper examines the ways in which such concerns may be addressed at the adoption; formulation; and amendment stages. In particular; it discusses if the use of sunset clauses and regular constitutional conventions may; and under what conditions; successfully address such concerns. (shrink)
At first sight constitutionalism appears to be a key concept in public law discourse in the United Kingdom. It appears in all the major academic discussions from the rule of law and judicial review to the ‘new constitutional settlement’ and in relation to constitutional culture. And yet attempts to define the scope, meaning and role of constitutionalism remain vague. This article discusses the different fields in which constitutionalism is discussed and the different meanings that are attributed to (...) the concept. It shows that constitutionalism is routinely conflated by public law scholars with other constitutional values and principles, like the rule of law or separation of powers. This article argues that constitutionalism should either be conceived as distinct from those concepts or, failing that, can safely be eliminated from public law discourse. The article concludes by asking whether a nuanced and normative discussion of constitutionalism could have any meaningful application in the United Kingdom constitution. (shrink)
This paper has several aims. Its main interpretive task is to argue that the democratic aspirations of contemporary critical theory are informed and haunted by an essentially Hegelian conception of constitutional order that I describe in part 1, according to which the modern state represents an institutional structure that integrates society through rational activity by mediating between the different interests of various social strata, connecting them in a common enterprise—haunted, because this Hegelian vision of making individuals free and “at home” (...) in the modern world, reconciled to it by virtue of being able to comprehend their social order as the work of their own shared reasons, remains a griping one, but one that critical theorists starting with the Left Hegelians view as increasingly implausible under modern social conditions. In section 2, I trace the decline of confidence in the prospects for the rational/mediational integration of society Hegel envisioned through Horkheimer and Adorno, and discuss some relevant aspects of Habermas’s initial reception of their views. Section 3 argues that the conceptions of democratic constitutional politics offered by Habermas and Benhabib should be read as attempts to recover, in a critical manner and under changed conditions, Hegel’s idea of social order as the product of rational activity. Along the way, I will make three interpretive and critical points: first, the existence of this link to Hegelian conceptions of constitutionalism demonstrates that interpretations of Habermas’s later work that read him as having broken with the tradition of Left Hegelianism are overstated—my reading of Habermas highlights his essentially Hegelian proceduralism and the social theoretic dimension of his work, and should challenge people who think of him as a neo-Kantian moralist. Second, this Left Hegelian social theoretic backdrop provides a stronger normative justification for the practice of democratically rearticulating constitutional norms—along with its apparent demotion of the stabilizing virtues of the rule of law—than the contextual one that some legal theorists have so far offered. Thirdly, I will comment on the shortcomings of Habermas’s conception of democratic constitutionalism, as well as Benhabib’s modified concept of “democratic iterations,” along with some brief suggestions on how this set of ideas should be developed. (shrink)
Among contemporary forms of constitutionalism, Luigi Ferrajoli’s Garantismo may be considered as the rather unfashionable attempt to build up a comprehensive and multi-layered theory, which still takes seriously the positivist heritage. This paper offers, in brief outline, a synthetic view of the social setting, the philosophical background, and the basic features of this conception of constitutionalism, when compared with legal positivism and other mainstream forms of (neo)constitutionalism.
Exploring the connection between Bentham and Byron forged by the Greek struggle for independence, this book focuses on the activities of the London Greek Committee, supposedly founded by disciples of Jeremy Bentham, which mounted the expedition on which Lord Byron ultimately met his death in Greece. Rosen's penetrating study provides a new assessment of British philhellenism and examines for the first time the relationship between Bentham's theory of constitutional government and the emerging liberalism of the 1820s. Breaking new ground in (...) the history of political ideas and culture in the early nineteenth century, Rosen advances striking new interpretations based on recently published texts and manuscript sources of the development of constitutional theory from Locke and Montesquieu, the conflicting strands of liberalism in the 1820s, and the response in Britain to strong claims for national self-determination in the Mediterranean basin. He sets out to distinguish between Bentham's theory and the ideological context against which it is usually interpreted. (shrink)
This essay analyzes neo-liberal economic agreements and legal and political frameworks or what has been called the “new constitutionalism,” a governance framework that empowers market forces to reshape economic and social development worldwide. The article highlights some consequences of new constitutionalism for caring institutions specifically, and for what feminists call social reproduction more generally: the biological reproduction of the species; the reproduction of labor power; and the reproduction of social institutions and processes associated with the creation and maintenance (...) of communities. New constitutional governance frameworks fundamentally reshape conditions under which the care of human beings takes place. Caring institutions once governed by enabling professions geared to universal care are now determined increasingly by market values and private forces, and driven directly by the profit motive. This is one of the reasons why neo-liberalism is increasingly contested in both the North and the global South. (shrink)
The very idea of the draft European Union (EU) Constitutional Treaty was reexamined after the failed French and Dutch referendums and the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) was drafted and entered into force on 1 December 2009 after it’s ratification by all 27 member states. The traditional notion of a Constitution as a national legal document establishing the social contract and a moral minimum for a particular socially unified group still prevails in legal and political thinking. (...) Indeed, the European Union has some constitutional elements, but absence of the so called ‘European demos’ prevents us from recognizing the founding treaties as a real ‘European constitution’ in the proper sense of the word. The author agrees with the decision to exclude the term ‘Constitution’ from the title and contents of the new Reform Treaty. The author also suggests that softer terms, like ‘European constitutional order’ and ‘European Constitutionalism’ might better reflect the scope of contemporary European integration than the term of ‘a Constitution for Europe’. A rethinking of the ‘constitutional core’ of the Lisbon Treaty was inspired following the so-called Lisbon judgments of Czech, Latvian and German constitutional courts. (shrink)
Constitutionalism offers a governance order a set of normative values including, amongst others, the rule of law, divisions of power and democratic legitimacy. These normative values regulate the relationship between constituent and constituted power holders. Such normative constitutional legal orders are commonplace in domestic systems but the global constitutionalisation debate seeks to identify a constitutional narrative beyond the state. This book considers the manner in which the global constitutionalisation debate has neglected constitutionalism within its proposals. It examines the (...) role normative constitutionalism plays within a constitutionalisation process, and considers the use of community at both the domestic and global governance levels to identify the holders of constituent and constituted power within a constitutional order. In doing so this analysis offers an alternative narrative for global constitutionalisation based within normative constitutionalism. (shrink)
The theory and practice of constitutionalism is tightly interwoven with references and appeals to values. However, these references and appeals frequently remain undertheorized and are seldom connected directly to philosophical theories of value. This chapter outlines some ways in which such connections might be established.
This article is devoted to the conceptual analysis of the model of the universe evolution in the philosophy of global constitutionalism. Purpose of research: to develop and justify the construct of education and development of the surrounding reality within the framework of the social concept of global constitutionalism. Object of research: the phenomenon of globalization of socio-political, state-legal and financial-economic development of national societies and states as an appearance of social reality, highlighted in the social concept of global (...)constitutionalism. Subject of research: theoretical content and stages of development of the model of the universe evolution in the philosophy of global constitutionalism in relation to its social essence. (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit Mattias Kumm's work on a ‘cosmopolitan conception of law’. I make two claims: First, I claim that although some criticism can be resisted by Kumm, under closer methodological scrutiny there are flaws in his theory. Second, I claim that these flaws challenge Kumm's approach when reading the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter) as a ‘global constitution’. This also has pertinent practical implications for the functioning of the United Nations. This contribution does not take (...) a stance on the nature of law but focuses on this conception in the context of politics and law. In a first section, I recount Kumm's cosmopolitan conception of law. In a second section, I claim that implicit monism in the relationship between national and international law and theoretical idealization pose serious difficulties to the cosmopolitan approach. In a third section, I claim that these flaws pose a challenge to the United Nations when considering the UN Charter as a 'global constitution'. I sum up my findings in a final section and reflect on a future outlook for research on global constitutionalism in political philosophy. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
A legal system is any institution or set of institutions in a given society that provides dispute resolution in a systematic and reasonably predictable way. it does so through the exercise of three functions: the judicial, the legislative, and the executive. The judicial function, the adjudication of disputes, is the core of any legal system; the other two are ancillary to this. The legislative function is to determine the rules that will govern the process of adjudication (this function may be (...) merged with the judicial function, as when case law arises through precedents, or it may be exercised separately), while the executive function is to secure submission (through a variety of means, which may or may not include violence) to the adjudicative process and compliance with its verdicts. A government or state (for present purposes i shall use these terms interchangeably) is any organisation that claims, and in large part achieves, a forcibly maintained monopoly, within a given geographical territory, of these legal functions, and in particular of the use of force in the executive function. now the market anarchist objection to government is simply a logical extension of the standard libertarian objection to coercive monopolies in general.1 First, from a moral point of view, among people regarded as equals2 it cannot be legitimate for some to claim a certain line of work as their own privileged preserve from which others are to be forcibly excluded; we no longer believe in the divine right of kings, and on no other basis could such inequality of rights be justified. Second, from an economic point of view, because monopolies are insulated from market competition and hold their customers by force, they lack both the information and the incentive to provide consumers with fair, efficient, and inexpensive service. The anarchist accepts these arguments, and merely asks why they should apply with any less force to the provision of legal services. (shrink)
This article argues that the opposition between political and legal constitutionalism can be traced to a cleavage in what philosophers have called the ‘social imaginary’: the shared understandings that underpin social life. Since social imaginary understandings are by their nature nebulous and ill-defined, political and legal constitutionalism should not be thought of as competing theories or heuristic models, but—more abstractly—contrasting ways of imagining the political world. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples, I argue that my claim is supported (...) by the way in which legal constitutionalism embedded itself as the governing idea in the United States and in France, and also by the failure of the ‘new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism’ to yield a genuinely distinctive alternative to political and legal constitutionalism. (shrink)