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In modern political communities ultimate authority is often thought to reside with 'the people'. This book examines how constitutions act as a delegation of power from 'the people' to representative and expert institutions, and looks at the attendant problems of maintaining the legitimacy of these constitutional arrangements.
Constituent power of the people is a core concept of modern politics but what does this concept actually mean? This book addresses this question, sketching how constituent power of the people has been conceived since the early modern revolutions.
Under pressure from globalisation, the classical distinction between domestic and international law has become increasingly blurred, spurring demand for new paradigms to construe the emerging postnational legal order. The typical response of constitutional and international lawyers as well as political theorists has been to extend domestic concepts - especially constitutionalism - beyond the state. Yet as this book argues, proposals for postnational constitutionalism not only fail to provide a plausible account of the changing shape of postnational law but also fall short as a normative vision. They either dilute constitutionalism's origins and appeal to 'fit' the postnational space; or they create tensions with the radical diversity of postnational society. This book explores an alternative, pluralist vision of postnational law. Pluralism does not rely on an overarching legal framework but is characterised by the heterarchical interaction of various suborders of different levels - an interaction that is governed by a multiplicity of conflict rules whose mutual relationship remains legally open. A pluralist model can account for the fragmented structure of the European and global legal orders and it reflects the competing (and often equally legitimate) claims for control of postnational politics. However, it typically provokes concerns about stability, power and the rule of law. This book analyses the promise and problems of pluralism through a theoretical enquiry and empirical research on major global governance regimes, including the European human rights regime, the contestation around UN sanctions and human rights, and the structure of global risk regulation. The empirical research reveals how prevalent pluralist structures are in postnational law and what advantages they possess over constitutionalist models. Despite the problems it also reveals, the analysis suggests cautious optimism about the possibility of stable and fair cooperation in pluralist settings.
This Handbook introduces scholars and students to the history, philosophy, and evidence of global constitutionalism. Contributors provide their insights from law, politics, international relations, philosophy, and history, drawing on diverse frameworks and empirical data sets. Across them all, however, is a recognition that the international order cannot be understood without an understanding of constitutional theory. The Handbook will define this field of inquiry for the next generation by bringing together some of the leading contemporary scholars.
This collection of 13 essays offers insights into Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of law which experiments with new forms of politics, economics and society.
Originally the constitution was expected to express and channel popular sovereignty. It was the work of freedom, springing from and facilitating collective self-determination. After the Second World War this perspective changed: the modern constitution owes its authority not only to collective authorship, it also must commit itself credibly to human rights. Thus people recede into the background, and the national constitution becomes embedded into one or other system of 'peer review' among nations. This is what Alexander Somek argues is the creation of the cosmopolitan constitution. Reconstructing what he considers to be the three stages in the development of constitutionalism, he argues that the cosmopolitan constitution is not a blueprint for the constitution beyond the nation state, let alone a constitution of the international community; rather, it stands for constitutional law reaching out beyond its national bounds. This cosmopolitan constitution has two faces: the first, political, face reflects the changed circumstances of constitutional authority. It conceives itself as constrained by international human rights protection, firmly committed to combating discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and to embracing strategies for managing its interaction with other sites of authority, such as the United Nations. The second, administrative, face of the cosmopolitan constitution reveals the demise of political authority, which has been traditionally vested in representative bodies. Political processes yield to various, and often informal, strategies of policy co-ordination so long as there are no reasons to fear that the elementary civil rights might be severely interfered with. It represents constitutional authority for an administered world.

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