Post-Constituent Constitutionalism? The Case of the European Union

Neil Walker

in The Paradox of Constitutionalism

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552207
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191709654 | DOI:
 Post-Constituent Constitutionalism? The Case of the European Union

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This chapter considers the general question of the relationship between constituent power and constitutional form in the context of new or shifting non-state political configurations, and specifically in the case of the constitionalization of the European Union. It examines four hypotheses on the concept of a European constituent power: non-constituent constitutionalism, constitutional scepticism, constitutional vindication, and a post-constituent constitutionalism that, unlike the others, recognizes the initial absence of a supranational constituent power but insists upon both the value and the plausibility of its subsequent development. The chapter develops a position in defence of such a post-constituent constitutionalism — one that nurtures at least some ‘constituent’ qualities without undermining the continuing constituent authority of states.

Keywords: constituent power; European Union; transnational constitutionalism; post-constituent constitutionalism

Chapter.  10274 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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