Political constitutionalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
EditorsMortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste
Place of Publication[S.I.]
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-6518-4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Mar 2018


  • political constitution
  • disagreement
  • political equality
  • legal positivism
  • legal institutionalism

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