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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x

A. Daniel Oliver-Lalana PhD

Paul De Hert
Paul De Hert is Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law. He is also the Director of the VUB’s Research Group on Fundamental Rights (FRC).

Irina Baraliuc
Irina Baraliuc is a PhD researcher at the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Sari Depreeuw
Sari Depreeuw is a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and an attorney-at-law at the Brussels bar.

Serge Gutwirth
Serge Gutwirth is Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and director of the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS).
Artikel

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy: An Iterative Relationship

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Auteurs Neil Walker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The complexity of the relationship between democracy and modern constitutionalism is revealed by treating democracy as an incomplete ideal. This refers both to the empirical incompleteness of democracy as unable to supply its own terms of application – the internal dimension – and to the normative incompleteness of democracy as guide to good government – the external dimension. Constitutionalism is a necessary response to democratic incompleteness – seeking to realize (the internal dimension) and to supplement and qualify democracy (the external dimension). How democratic incompleteness manifests itself, and how constitutionalism responds to incompleteness evolves and alters, revealing the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy as iterative. The paper concentrates on the iteration emerging from the current globalizing wave. The fact that states are no longer the exclusive sites of democratic authority compounds democratic incompleteness and complicates how constitutionalism responds. Nevertheless, the key role of constitutionalism in addressing the double incompleteness of democracy persists under globalization. This continuity reflects how the deep moral order of political modernity, in particular the emphasis on individualism, equality, collective agency and progress, remains constant while its institutional architecture, including the forms of its commitment to democracy, evolves. Constitutionalism, itself both a basic orientation and a set of design principles for that architecture, remains a necessary support for and supplement to democracy. Yet post-national constitutionalism, even more than its state-centred predecessor, remains contingent upon non-democratic considerations, so reinforcing constitutionalism’s normative and sociological vulnerability. This conclusion challenges two opposing understandings of the constitutionalism of the global age – that which indicts global constitutionalism because of its weakened democratic credentials and that which assumes that these weakened democratic credentials pose no problem for post-national constitutionalism, which may instead thrive through a heightened emphasis on non-democratic values.


Neil Walker
Neil Walker is Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Discussie

Access_open The Globalizing Turn in the Relationship Between Constitutionalism and Democracy

Some Reiterations from the Perspective of Constitutional Law

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden constitutional law, constitutionalism, historic constitutions, revolutionary constitutions, pouvoir constituant (irrelevance of)
Auteurs Leonard F.M. Besselink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay complements Walker’s essay with some historical and constitutional observations. It submits that Walker’s analysis is based to a large extent on reasoning derived from a particular continental European constitutional tradition. This creates certain problems of its own, that do not arise in a different constitutional tradition. This is not to say, however, that this invalidates his conclusions, but rather underpins them in an alternative manner.


Leonard F.M. Besselink
Leonard Besselink is Professor of European Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Discussie

Access_open Democracy, Constitutionalism and the Question of Authority

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden international constitutionalism, democracy, international law, fragmentation, international politics
Auteurs Wouter G. Werner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper agrees with Walker on the existence of a tension between democracy and constitutionalism, but questions whether democracy and (international) constitutionalism necessarily depend on each other. While democracy needs constitutionalism on normative grounds, as an empirical matter it may also rest on alternative political structures. Moreover, it is questionable whether democracy is indeed the solution to the incompleteness of international constitutionalism. Traditional forms of democracy do not lend themselves well to transplantation to the international level and could even intensify some problems of international governance. Attempts to democratize international relations should be carried out prudentially, with due regard for possible counterproductive effects.


Wouter G. Werner
Wouter Werner is Professor of Public International Law at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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