‘We are (afraid of) the people’: Constituent Power in German Constitutionalism

Christoph Möllers

in The Paradox of Constitutionalism

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552207
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191709654 | DOI:
 ‘We are (afraid of) the people’: Constituent Power in German Constitutionalism

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This chapter examines the special path of constitutional development in Germany. It shows how developments from the Kaiserreich, through Weimar to the Nazi regime has rendered any attempt to make a direct appeal to the people, or even to the authority of a representative parliament, problematic. It indicates how the highly legalistic constitutional culture that evolved in the post-war Federal Republic was a product of conscious efforts to eliminate any claim to populism in the constitutional settlement imposed by the Allies, and suggests that the appeal to an especially formal notion of ‘constitutional patriotism’ has its basis in that history.

Keywords: constitutional development in Germany; Kaiserreich; Weimar Republic; Nazi regime; Federal Republic of Germany; populism; constitutional patriotism

Chapter.  8784 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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