Political constitutionalism

Goldoni, Marco and McCorkindale, Christopher (2018) Political constitutionalism. In: Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer Netherlands, [S.I.]. ISBN 978-94-007-6518-4 (In Press)

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Abstract

Political constitutionalism can refer both to a theory of what a constitution is or should be and to a doctrine of Commonwealth constitutionalism. These two dimensions are not disconnected and often overlap (for examples in recent scholarship see Gordon 2015; Mac Amhlaigh 2016). In this entry, both dimensions will be taken into account. The structure of the entry is simple: in the last decades, political constitutionalism - a discourse on the political dimensions of modern constitutions - has been articulated in three waves, each one marked by a specific methodological angle and its own legal theory. These are functionalist (what political constitutions do), normative (what political constitutions ought to do) and reflexive (what is it that is political about political constitutions). Let us explain each in turn.