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Article

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy: An Iterative Relationship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Authors Neil Walker
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.
Article

Consideration of "Heavenly Matters" and the Evolution of Article IX

The 5th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law in Washington D.C., United States, December 2010: "Art. IX of the Outer Space Treaty and Peaceful Purposes: Issues and Implementation"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 11 2010
Authors P.M. Sterns and L.I. Tennen

P.M. Sterns

L.I. Tennen
Article

Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty: Extraterrestrial Back Contamination, the U.S. Constitution, and the "Politics" of U.S. Regulatory Authority

The 5th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law in Washington D.C., United States, December 2010: "Art. IX of the Outer Space Treaty and Peaceful Purposes: Issues and Implementation"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 11 2010
Authors G.S. Robinson

G.S. Robinson
Article

OST Article IX, Improvements: Cultural and Natural Heritage Elements

The 5th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law in Washington D.C., United States, December 2010: "Art. IX of the Outer Space Treaty and Peaceful Purposes: Issues and Implementation"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 11 2010
Authors F. Lyall

F. Lyall
Article

Studies on the Establishment of National Mechanism on Space Debris Mitigation

Global Lunar Conference in Beijing, China: IISL Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 10 2010
Authors S. Li

S. Li
Article

Appropriateness of the Moon Agreement for Lunar Exploration and Use

Global Lunar Conference in Beijing, China: IISL Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 10 2010
Authors R. Jakhu, S. Hobe and S. Freeland

R. Jakhu

S. Hobe

S. Freeland

Zhuoyan Lu
Article

Possibility of Establishing a New International Space Exploitation Agency

Global Lunar Conference in Beijing, China: IISL Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 10 2010
Authors D.H. Kim

D.H. Kim
Article

Matching Detail with Practice: The Essential Elements of National Space Legislation

2010 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 49th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "National Space Legislation: Crafting Legal Engines for the Growth of Space Activities"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2010
Authors S. Freeland

S. Freeland
Article

The Need to Implement the Outer Space Treaty through National Law in the Light of the Current and Foreseeable Space Activity

2010 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 49th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "National Space Legislation: Crafting Legal Engines for the Growth of Space Activities"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2010
Authors A. Kerrest

A. Kerrest
Article

The International Space Station as a "Trading Post in Outer Space": A View from Europe

Joint IAF-IISL Session: "Legal Framework for Collaborative Human Space Missions"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2010
Authors R.P. Veldhuyzen

R.P. Veldhuyzen
Article

Recent Developments in Space Law: Agreement on International Space Station as Case Study

Joint IAF-IISL Session: "Legal Framework for Collaborative Human Space Missions"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2010
Authors O.N. John

O.N. John

P. Clerc

S. Freeland

H. Zhao
Article

Safety and Liability Aspects of Solar Power Satellites

Recent Developments in Space Law

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2010
Authors R.S. Jakhu and D. Howard

R.S. Jakhu

D. Howard

C.Q. Christol

S. Ospina
Article

In Search of the Current Legal Status of the Registration of Space Objects

The Current Status of the Rule of Law with Regard to Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2010
Authors S. Aoki

S. Aoki
Article

Is there a Future for Space Law Beyond "Soft Law"?

The Current Status of the Rule of Law with Regard to Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2010
Authors J. Monserrat Filho and A.F. dos Santos

J. Monserrat Filho

A.F. dos Santos
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