Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar
Chapter 23: Democratic innovation in constitutional reform
This chapter describes diverse democratic innovations in constitutional reform and places them in their theoretical context. Reforms enabling greater public participation in constitutional reform tend to raise worries about the quality of popular deliberation. But with the rise of ‘popular sovereignty culture’, the traditional elite-led model of constitutional reform has come to seem inadequate. Constitutional reform that excludes public participation is often neither publicly trusted nor widely viewed as legitimate. Newer constitutional reform models thus seek to manage the sometimes contradictory aims of deliberation, public trust and constitutional legitimacy. This has led to energetic experimentation with new models of democratic constitutional reform that, in particular, can accommodate popular participation with other democratic values and concerns.
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