Abstract

This article proceeds from a critical sociological revision of classical constitutional theory. In particular, it argues for a sociological reconstruction of the central concepts of constitutional theory: constituent power and rights. These concepts, it is proposed, first evolved as an internal reflexive dimension of the modern political system, which acted originally to stabilize the political system as a relatively autonomous aggregate of actors, adapted to the differentiated interfaces of a modern society.

This revision of classical constitutional theory provides a basis for a distinctive account of transnational constitutional pluralism or societal constitutionalism. The article argues that the construction of transnational normative orders needs to be placed, in a sociological dimension, on a clearer continuum with classical constitutional models. Although contemporary society is marked by multiple, nationally overarching, and often functionally specific constitutions, such normative structures extend the original functions of constituent power and rights.

The article sets out the concluding hypothesis that rights form a running constitution in contemporary society, facilitating highly improbable acts of transnational structural construction and systemic inclusion. It is around the code rights-relevant/rights-irrelevant that transnational society constructs its processes of politicization and political inclusion. This code, however, brings to light a subsidiary or skeletal coding, which was latently co-implied in the political exchanges of modern society, and which was already expressed in early constitutionalism.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0367
Print ISSN
1080-0727
Pages
pp. 551-603
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.