Constitutionalism Is Dead – Long Live Constitutionalism

Wesemann, Anne (2018). Constitutionalism Is Dead – Long Live Constitutionalism. In: Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2018, 4-7 Sep 2018, Queen Mary University London.


Constitutionalism, easily dismissed as inward looking, out-dated stage for state-centralistic conservative views, can use some refreshing. Considering the functionality of constitutions and constitutional norms informs attempts at the creation of any international, transnational or post-national constitutional order.
Particularly as ‘Law in troubled times’ is more than ever drawn on to provide society with clarity and guidance, a refreshed constitutionalism can serve as means of reassurance. As such, it needs to be open to multiple understandings of constitutional frameworks, constitutional traditions and cultures. Drawing on concepts of constitutionalism and pluralism, the paper discusses how both successfully inform the post-national discussion of law and legal frameworks. Constitutional pluralism serves as aid in the application of specific understandings of norms and theory, grown in a domestic context, to a legal framework outside its realm of origin; be it in an international or different domestic context.
While infusing pluralism with meaning and granting constitutionalism a life outside the domestic sphere, the paper will view the new pluralist constitutionalism as a means to provide order ‘in troubled times’.

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