The Achievement of Constitutionalism and its Prospects in a Changed World

Dieter Grimm

in The Twilight of Constitutionalism?

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585007
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723469 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

The Achievement of Constitutionalism and its Prospects in a Changed World

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  • Constitutional and Administrative Law


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This chapter provides an overview of the achievements of constitutionalism, and outlines its central elements of democracy, limited government, and the principle of the rule of law. It argues that the achievements of constitutionalism are tied to an acknowledgement of its constitutive conditions — the boundary distinctions between public and private, and between internal and external. For this reason, to the extent that statehood is being eroded as a result of the blurring of these boundaries, then constitutionalism must be seen to be in decline. Internationalisation is opening up a gap between the exercise of public power and its modes of legitimation which constitutionalism is unable to close. Constitutionalism, in short, cannot be reconstructed on the international level.

Keywords: constitutionalism; democracy; limited government; rule of law

Chapter.  10512 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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