Framing ‘the People’: Constitutional Referendums and the Demos

Stephen Tierney

in Constitutional Referendums

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199592791
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741067 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

Framing ‘the People’: Constitutional Referendums and the Demos

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law


Show Summary Details


This chapter addresses how the constitutional referendum implicates the very idea of ‘the people’. In the ordinary course of representative democracy this concept tends to lie dormant. However, the constitutional referendum by definition implicates an anterior act of demotic border-drawing — the framing of the collective self who will perform an act of constitutional self-determination and in doing so explicitly articulate itself as a constitutional people. This is often uncontroversial, but in some cases, particularly in the context of constitutive referendums, the referendum can expose tensions in the boundary question.

Keywords: constitutional referendum; the people; representative democracy; collective self; self-determination

Chapter.  18784 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.