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Palgrave Macmillan

Constituent Power and Constitutional Order

Above, Within and Beside the Constitution

ISBN 9781137382993
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The constituent power of the people is one of the fundamental ideas of modern politics. It was first articulated during the early modern revolutions when the idea was deployed to legitimize the revolution and to develop constitutions. This study sketches the historical background and the articulation of the idea of constituent power of the people, using the threefold meaning of the idea initially suggested by Carl Schmitt: constituent power being power above the existing constitutional order, power within that order, and power beside the constitutional order. These conceptions are not only discussed in the historical context they were articulated in but also placed within the framework of contemporary political and constitutional thought. In doing so, this book explores the various emphasizes that different theorists place on the role of constituent power in democracies to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this cornerstone of political thought has evolved since it was first posited in the 18th Century.

Mikael Spång is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Malmö University, Sweden. His research interests include social and political theory with particular focus on democracy, human rights, migration, and constitutional politics. He has published articles and books on these subjects, both in Swedish and English.

1. The Constituent Power of the People in the Age of Revolutions
2. The Reflexive Constitution and Its Critics
3. People and State Form: Identity and Representation
4. Constituent Power, Sovereignty, and Government
5. Constituent Power and Public Opinion
6. Dialectics of Constituent Power


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