Modern Constitutionalism and the Challenges of Complex Pluralism

Authored by: Paul Blokker

Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548250
eBook ISBN: 9780203875575
Adobe ISBN: 9781135997946


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The abstract idea of a written constitution as the foundational basis of modern democratic societies is a largely undisputed element in much of social, political, and legal theory. At the same time, the nature, form, and distinct functions of the constitution in – and increasingly also beyond – modern democratic societies is an evermore frequent object of dispute. As will be discussed in this chapter, this is not least because of the profound changes that affect constitutional democracies and constitutionalism as a result of processes of globalization, sub-state empowerment, as well as internal transformations of the modern polity and of democratic politics, and a related diversification of democratic imaginaries.

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