Zoekresultaat: 3 artikelen

x
Jaar 2010 x
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.

    How can the social environment of a prison be accurately assessed? Why is it important to measure? How should the prison experience be represented in empirical research? How do we capture distinctions between prisons, which can be good or bad in so many different ways? There is considerable consensus about the inadequacy of narrow and selective performance measures, such as hours spent in purposeful activity or serious assaults, in representing prison quality. The difficulties are both methodological and conceptual. This paper will outline one attempt to address these questions in England and Wales. Based on a series of studies aimed at identifying and measuring aspects of prison life that ‘matter most’, prisoners describe stark differences in the moral and emotional climates of prisons serving apparently similar functions. The ‘differences that matter’ are in the domain of interpersonal relationships and treatment. A developmental programme of empirical research on the quality of life in prison suggests that (a) some prisons are more survivable than others and (b) important differences in identifiable aspects of prison quality exist and may be related to outcomes. These findings have implications for our understanding of the meaning of terms like ‘inhuman and degrading’ treatment as well as for our uses and expectations of the prison.


Alison Liebling
Alison Liebling is hoogleraar Criminology & Criminal Justice aan de Universiteit van Cambridge en is directeur van het Prison Research Centre.

Gerhard Wagner
Dr. Gerhard Wagner LL.M. is Professor of Fundamentals of Private Law at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, as well as, Professor of German and European Private Law and Civil Procedure at the University of Bonn.
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