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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

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

Is het de moeite waard?

De karakteristieken en effectiviteit van partijwebsites in de campagne voor de Nederlandse gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 2010

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2010
Keywords local elections, Netherlands, websites, interactivity, content analysis
Authors Rens Vliegenthart and Guda van Noort
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the use of interactive features on the websites of Dutch local (branches of) political parties during the campaign for the 2010 local elections is investigated. We distinguish between features that are directed to increase political discussion and those that are used for political mobilisation. A content analysis of 1403 party websites demonstrates that websites of the social-liberal party D66 are the most interactive, followed by the Socialist Party. Furthermore, for elections in larger municipalities, more interactivity is used on the parties’ websites. Overall, the use of both types of interactive features is rather limited. Finally, a positive association between interactivity and election results, while controlling for previous elections and national trends, is established. These results point to the importance of (online) political campaigning in the context of local elections.


Rens Vliegenthart
Rens Vliegenthart (1980) is universitair docent politieke communicatie bij de Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Zijn onderzoek gaat onder andere over de relatie tussen politici en journalisten, mediaeffecten en verkiezingscampagnes en het gebruik van econometrische tijdreeksanalyses in de communicatiewetenschap. Hij geeft les in politieke communicatie en methoden in de bachelor, master en research master Communicatiewetenschap.

Guda van Noort
Guda van Noort (1977) is universitair docent commerciële communicatie bij de Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Haar onderzoek is primair gericht op kwantitatieve onderzoeksmethoden in het domein van nieuwe media, online consumentengedrag en informatieverwerking. Naast haar onderzoek doceert zij seminars binnen het domein van de persuasieve communicatie en experimentele onderzoeksmethoden, zowel in de eindfase van de bachelor, als binnen de reguliere en research master Communicatiewetenschap.
Article

Constitutional Review in the Caribbean

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords Guyana, electoral reform, constitutional reform, international human rights law, Caribbean
Authors Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
AbstractAuthor's information

    Guyana, South America, is a former colony of Britain and the only English-speaking country in South America, but has more in common with its English-speaking Caribbean neighbours. Constitutional reform and resulting constitutional amendments were precipitated in 1999-2000 by civil unrest following national elections and dissatisfaction by the major opposition with the outcome of an election characterized by ethnic differences between respective supporters of parties backed by followers of traditionally Indian, African and Amerindian origin. This process was a brokered effort to ameliorate the national dissatisfaction and an opportunity for civil society representatives and political representatives of the unicameral House of Parliament to work together in recommending electoral and constitutional reform. The outcome was the radical reform and modernization of the constitutional entrenchment of the modern concepts of international human rights law. In this regard Guyana is ahead of the other sister nations of the Caribbean, CARICOM grouping in terms of constitutional advancements. However, the political will to realize far-reaching electoral and governance reforms, as well as the effective implementation of the entrenched human rights reforms, still lags behind, despite the amendment of the constitution, the appointment of several commissions and the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee tasked with continuous constitution review.


Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph is presently a law partner with the firm of Joseph & Joseph in Saint George’s, Grenada. She is an OAS and UNIFEM Consultant in the Caribbean; she serves on the Board of the Caribbean Institute of Leadership and as Deputy Chairperson of Grenada’s Integrity and Anti Corruption Commission.
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